Locally in the SF Bay Area / Silicon Valley, homes in good school districts were hit the least by the economic turn down and recovered the quickest. When there is a prolonged good economy everywhere goes up.
Compare San Jose to Palo Alto
Good school districts are a clear indicator that the local residents care about the success of their kids and that they both have money and are willing to put their money towards helping their kids. They are probably well educated successful neighbors. More and more people want to hang out around successful people. Younger people seem to put even more value on the people around them than the size of their yard.
Economic pressures can drive tremendous changes in neighborhoods. An area that seems forgotten can quickly improve.
There isn't a simple one size fits all answer to your question. Consider if you're hanging out in your neighborhood coffee shop will you make friends with someone starting up a company or someone trying to keep a paying job? Do you want to hang out with neighbors wanting big yards for their family or neighbors who want their family to go get involved outside of their home?
Schools have attracted residents with certain expectations and financial abilities.
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