You posted a very good question that I deal with all the time. I also have very good friends that are teachers and a son with special needs. You received good responses and here's my thought.
A school's API school doesn't tell the entire story regarding the quality of the education your future children will receive. The reality of economics is families who can afford homes at higher prices usually spend more on resources for schools. There are many things schools can't provide where they look for the community for assistance. This includes school supplies, music programs, sports, after school activities and tutors. There are also several factors that go into test scores where teachers have no control. I believe the quality of your children's education will be based on the importance you place on learning and the time you take to make sure they master the material.
The conversations I have with my clients who are looking for a home is to look in an area where you feel comfortable, promotes the activities you enjoy and has homes you like and can afford. When you're comfortable in your home, your life will be more enjoyable which will greatly impact your children's education.
Regarding resale value, homes are selling just as fast in districts with average API scores are they are in districts with high API scores. The only difference is price. If the seller is asking for a reasonable price based on condition and are reasonable in allowing access, the home will sell. Buy a home for what it is today and how it fits your lifestyle and income. None of us can predict where the market will be in 2, 5 or 10 years from now.
Good Luck and be patient in the process.
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Intero Real Estate Services
DRE # 01125380 since 1991
Clearly people are buying and selling homes in all areas, regardless of how the school districts are rated.
Want more house?
Buy in the town that gives you more........more concerned with schools? Buy less house in the higher ranked school district.
There is no right or wrong........decide what your priorities, needs and wants are, and follow that route.
Homes in these areas are enjoying 2nd highest historical peak. Since Jan 1, 2013 it is estimated these neighborhoods homes have appreciated ~20%. Town homes and condos are the hardest one to purchase expect to offer a lot more than one is used to during a recovery phase.
You have posted your question from Fremont, Caâ€¦.a city with which I am very familiar. With a population of over 200,000, Fremont is the 4th largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area. Fremont Unified School District has 5 high schools with 5 middle-schools and numerous elementary schools feeding into the high schools.
The academic ratings of the high schools and the feeder schools are not the same across the school district. One high school district is among the highest ranking in the entire state of California. Guess which area has the highest priced homes.
School rankings and academic rankings of schools drives values in our market. Across the Bay Area, the residential areas with the higher performing public schools command the highest home prices in relation to similar homes outside of those school areas.
Astute home buyers pay a premium to have their kids get an excellent public school education knowing that the next set of parents will reward them by paying an even larger premium when it comes time to sell.
You donâ€™t have to send a child to these good schools to reap the benefits of ever increasing value derived by owning in a high performing school district.
It seems that at this time you do not have children yet and if you have children in 2 or 3 years from now,
their school age of course is another 5 years away from there.... So for yourself schools are obviously
not a real big reason to buy here or there....
Here is my thought for you,,,, do you actually know today if in 7 or 8 years from now you have 2 , 3 or
4 children, do you know today, what type of school you would want for your children, their talents may
be different and the after school activities may be super important to you at that time hm. just think about about it for a while.
Then in 7 or 8 years from now will you still be in the very same home, or will you want to move, or have to move because of job changes????? or because you now would like a different style or size of home, or a bigger yard, or a park nearby etc. etc.
Therefore, you may want at this time buy a home in a neighborhood to your liking at this time in a price range at this time, that is comfortable and reasonable for YOU NOW. In 5 or 6 years when you
see your family life in a brighter light, you can then decide if you need to move because of a different
school district, better for YOUR CHILDREN.
I always tell my clients who are parents, that just because many flock to a certain grade school or high school district does not mean it is the best one for YOUR children, and I can explain further why
that is the case. Feel free to connect with me.
Furthermore realize, one very important item in the pricing, buying and selling of a home....
If you buy in a higher bracket because of the location, the schools or whatever the reasons may be
you will most likely also sell higher down the road.... but since you do not have children yet, why not
buy where you are happy now, save the extra money, so that down the road you have much higher down payment for the bigger home in a higher price area for whatever your reason at that time may be, including the school district.
Hope this helps you....
If you need a recommendation for a good Buyers Agent, and you should work with one, lots of advantages to the buyer, let me know and I gladly send a good recommendation your way.
Good Luck to you
Edith YourRealtor4Life & Chicago, North Shore & Northern Illinois Expert
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You will find out, however, that this is much more meaningful the personal choice. This weekend (Read where did they find Sheldon? blog) I attended an event in which exceptional students participated in an exceptional event that only select schools can offer. In Palm Harbor, FL, the high schooled, named Palm Harbor University High School is a IB certified school. Focus: Healthcare
The students in the event I attend (watch the video link on my blog) is focused on engineering...of many disciplines.
Being in an exceptional school district IS AS VALUABLE as being on a golf course or close proximity to big water. If you do not golf, are traumatized by big water or have not children to school, the real estate will benefit from this asset anyway. Most parents seeking a real education for the elementary age children will be looking into private schooling.
Your choice is simply to buy into a high value location or a location that meets your immediate requirements and budget. The prevailing wisdom is buying quality always pays off.
Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group, Palm Harbor, FL
Scotsdsale Bluffs Tour:
First, we don't know what the future brings, so any speculation on future appreciation is just that - speculation.
Secondly, if you think that it requires a premium to buy in good school districts, think about what it would take to buy into a good school district in seven or eight years when you have children of that age.
Finally, in real estate, the house has some value, but so does the land. It's not a joke that the three most important words in real estate are location x3.
All the best,
The school districts with the highest demand do tend to give you the highest rate of appreciation. However if yo udo not have children in school your only benefit is the rate of appreciation and not the school itself.
That is really a personal decision on your part whether or not you want more house for the same amount of money in a school district that has less market demand or whether you want a house with the schools that are in greatest demand.
As I read your question, it sounds to me as if you would prefer to get more house in a neighborhood where the schools are in less demand.
Charles Butterfield MBA
Real Estate Broker/REALTOR
Cell Phone: (408)509-6218
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Top 2 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty
Over 30 years experience
Over 1,000 homes sold in Silicon Valley
I would ask you to ask yourself, why so many people both with and without children have "good schools" as one of their top search criteria. The fact of the matter is that there are differences in districts, programs, staff, and otherwise.
The reality is, however, like you, not all people have the same priorities. I would offer you this observation....that is that there are many people that acquire the appreciation for a good school district "after the fact" and find themselves in a position of selling and rebuying in locations that meet their newly acquired needs.
Make no mistake.....not all schools or school districts are created equal.
Superintendent of Schools(retired)
Also. much depends on what the criteria are for making this decision of great versus average, or "bad".
As you know, stats can be manipulated.
Also - this idea of buying into a more expensive town has more than just, imo, the schools as the basis of the price point.
Snob appeal also contributes to the "higher priced" towns being higher priced.
I will say that here, the more espensive towns have really good schools, consistantly ranked high on any list, but also offer other attractive incentives.
No one can tell you which would be the better investment over time.........but, here, I have seen those "higher end" areas retain more value during the downturn.
Again - you need to speak with local agents if you really want a price comparison - and they can get that information for you - to show how the areas you are discussing have fared over the past few years.
I can't speak for your area, but by me, the highest prices do happen to be in towns in which the school districts rank high on the list, no matter what the criteria might be.
Other things, however, also factor into those higher prices (for example, in my area buying into a "train town" with proximity to the direct train into Manhattan adds value, and those towns sell at a premium )....so it's not always about just the schools.
Bottom line - there will be buyers for all areas..........but.......if you pay less now, remember you will get less down the road when it's time to sell. Everything is relative..
Buy based on what matters to you.
Priorities and locations have been frequently mentioned because it's not just school zones that drive up home prices.
For example, Willow Glen High school has an API of 770 :
That is just okay and the homes in the area are older and smaller but a 3bed/2baths in the area can command ~$600K+. Whats there is a more desirable downtown and atmosphere.
It is all in your priorities...
The reality here is that the economy in the Bay Area is driven by high-tech. High-tech employs thousands of highly educated people. Highly educated people care for the education for their children. This will drive property prices up in the most desirable school districts to the top of the affordability level.