Home Buying in San Jose>Question Details

Confused Hom…, Home Buyer in Fremont, CA

Which is wiser to do , buy a home in a good school district or buy a home in a ok school district and send ur child to a private school ?

Asked by Confused HomeBuyer, Fremont, CA Fri May 4, 2012

I am sure home buyers particularly in bay area would have gone through this dilemma like me. Basically if you have 2 or more child then it's no brainer to buy in a good school district, but if u have a single child , is it wise to spend the additional $1000/month (average tution fees) by paying the mortgage or will u use to send to a private school and buy a less ~ 200k inexpensive house.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Confused and thanks for your post.

You've received some great tips from excellent agents, thus far. And, you're absolutely right....this is a tough decision. I have just one child, and so we did seriously consider a lower priced home versus one in a better school district but that cost more money. What we eventually decided was that we would choose the higher priced home in the better school district.

There were two reasons for this choice:

1. Schooling, to our family, was not just about the school or the school's API scores, but it was also about the community that surrounds the school. As a parent, it was really important that my child be able to foster friends in the school and community and, hopefully, near our home with whom he could visit and develop social bonds. While a child can develop friends in a private school setting, often those children do not live near your home, so social events have to be planned and aren't as easily accessible than when the children live near the home.

2. We saw that a better school district did offer some tangible financial returns on our investment in the home. While it was certainly more expensive to purchase a home in a better school district, we also saw that, in doing so, we could and would see increased value in the home--it was not likely to lose a lot of money, as did some areas in the crash. In 2008, the homes in our area did lose some value from the highs of 2007, but at present, the values have returned pretty much to exactly what they were in 2007. I credit a lot of that recovery solely to the intrinsic value of the school system in our area.

So that was our reason for choosing the home in the better school district. Whatever you choose, however, should be made on decisions about what's best for your family. A home in a better school district may be financially out of your reach--in which case, a private school is always an option. Or, perhaps--as is the case in some areas--the level of competition in the school districts is too fierce for your child, and again, there are other areas, other homes and other options that will provide a better education to your family members. In all cases, the decision you make will be based on your family and your own individual needs.

Good luck! And if you need assistance in buying or selling a home, do feel free to give me a call!

Grace Morioka
Area Pro Realty-People's Choice
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 7, 2012
Hello Homebuyer,

Time and again parents/buyers go thru this tough decision. It is very much a personal decision. I went thru same process a few years back and ultimately decided to buy in a good school district. Yes we paid much more for the house, however, so is the appreciation for the property. We are happy with our decision to live in a good community with good schools my kids can walk to.

It is a tough decision, make a list of pros and cons and decide where you want to send your child for schoolling and what kind of community environment you want to provide your family.

Good luck!
Monica Goyal
PH 408-476-0675
Coldwell Banker
DRE 01781926
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 5, 2012
Thank you for your question Confused Homebuyer:

You have received some escellent answers, particularly from Terri Velios and John Juarez.

Essentially what you are asking is really a personal decision.

If you buy a home in a school district that is in great demand, your house will generally appreciate in value, and you wil get more money on resale.

If you invest the same amount of money in a house in a school district where there is much less demand, you will get much more house for the same amount of money, however the house will appreciate less and you will not get as much money on resale.

Thank you,
Charles Butterfield MBA
Real Estate Broker/REALTOR
American Realty
Cell Phone: (408)509-6218
Fax: (408)269-3597
Email Address: charlesbutterfieldbkr@yahoo.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 5, 2012
I just subscribed to a real estate program to assist agents with school district. What I found interesting is that when you compared the demographics by school certain demographics still scored high as compared to others without regard to the schools overall performance.

What this says to me is that the parents who put education as important to their children are going to make sure their children perform well. It is individual to the family to insure their children do their homework, excel, take the AP classes, or what ever is important. So do your homework and choose the neighborhood and schools which best fit your family.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 4, 2012
Buying in better school attendance areas will cost you more for a comparable home than if you buy in a school attendance area that is less sought after. The house that you buy in the high performing school area will be worth more when you buy it and it will be worth more when you sell it. During the time that you live there your child will be attending an excellent school for free. For FREE! Yes, you will be paying more per month to live there but the money is going to reduce the debt and increase the equity in your house. Interest paid on a loan that may be larger is tax deductible to the extent of the tax rules. When you eventually sell the house, you will reap the benefit of living in a quality neighborhood by receiving more for the sale of your house than someone selling a comparable home in a less desirable school area.
Bottom line is you must live where you want to live and can afford to live. At the same time, living in an area of high performing public schools and higher than average property values is a good thing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 4, 2012
This is a personal decision. Are you thinking of resale? There are people who do both, and those who done one or the other.

If you would like someone to bounce ideas off of, drop me a call or note.

Have an amazing evening!
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 4, 2012
I'm afraid that no Realtor can answer that for you, truly. This is a questio about you values and what's most important.

What I can say however is that homes in good school districts tend to hold their value better and work better as an investment. It's the old saying, location, location, location.

I would buyin a better location, and that includes the school district.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 7, 2012
Buying in a better school district is not only a financial decision. Performance of a public school district is a reflection of the demographics of the area and of the value the community is putting on education. Usually the better school districts will correlate with the higher level of education of the parents, better economic status and better employment rates. Chose wisely!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 5, 2012
Can you afford private school? If the cost of private school worries you, see what's cheaper with all of your monthly expenses including your mortgage, travel expenses and time, etc.

I advise to ask a financial advisor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 4, 2012
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