How important are school districts when I am looking for a house? Does it really affect the price and how?

Asked by Manasa Battula, Mountain View, CA Mon Dec 24, 2012

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Dena Schlutz, Agent, Boulder, CO
Mon Dec 31, 2012
Location, location, location! Yes, it matters! But that is only one piece of the puzzle. It depends on what your long-term goals are and your priorities. Buying a home is kinda like buying a stock -- what matters is what you pay for it. If you get a screaming deal on a home that is not in a great school district, you might not care because it meets your other goals. But, as a rule of thumb, good schools give the local real estate stability. Stability = better resale.
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The Medford…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Mon Dec 31, 2012
As a general rule, the better the schools, the higher the home prices within a given region. A good example to look at would be Fremont, where school scores and the various neighborhood housing prices track together in direct proportion to each other. There are a number of cultures here in the Bay Area that consider good schools absolutely critical – they are therefore willing to pay top dollar for better schools – and it quickly becomes a matter of supply and demand economics.
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tim jagoe, Home Buyer, La Crescenta-Montrose, Glendale, CA
Sun Dec 30, 2012
Location, location, locaton. Shools, schools, schools
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Juliana Lee…, Agent, Palo Alto, CA
Tue Dec 25, 2012
There are three different ways to consider this.

First as others have said, homes in neighborhoods having excellent schools sell for more money than similar homes in neighborhoods having lower rated schools.

Second, when the economic downturn hit, home prices in areas having excellent schools did not fall as much and have recovered better than home prices in areas having lower rated schools. Look at
Palo Alto real estate statistics,,
compared to San Jose real estate statistics,
to see a very strong difference.

Third, consider why some areas have schools with better ratings. Families having more money and putting a stronger emphasis on education move to areas having higher rated schools. These families help build the reputation of the schools.

Juliana Lee, MBA LLB
Cell: 650-857-1000
Top 3 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty

Over 20 years experience
Over 1000 homes sold in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties

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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Mon Dec 24, 2012
Areas with recognized good school districts undoubtedly attract people for the simple reason that buyers understand and appreciate the advantages of having their children exposed to quality programs. This creates a demand for property located within the district that increases home values and desirability.

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Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Dec 24, 2012
Yes, yes, and yes!!! It absolutely affects the quality of your neighborhood, the value of your homes, and the way the value holds over time. For research purposes, I offer this website:

I used to live in Mountain View...what areas are you searching?

Take cake.
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John Juarez, Agent, Fremont, CA
Mon Dec 24, 2012
The perceived educational excellence of schools drives values in those neighborhoods. Whether you have children or not the cost of a home in a neighborhood that features high performing schools will be higher than a home in a nearby neighborhood in which the schools are not as highly rated. Many buyers are willing to pay more for a home in an excellent school district knowing that their children will be going to good schools and the value of their home will increase in reflection of the desirability of the neighborhood.
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Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Mon Dec 24, 2012
All three agents gave you the answer I would have given. If you don't have children then it may be less important for you. If you do have children then that can be a deciding factor.

Keep in mind when you review the API they are separated by demographics. Look a each demographic as well as the over all API.
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Norman Aless…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Mon Dec 24, 2012
Hi Manasa,
To answer your question VERY important, if you notice when you search the higher priced homes pretty much ALL have good school districts,there are exceptions ( Willow Glen ), but they are they are few. They affect the price because more people want to live there so it is a supply and demand thing. What you want to do is get with a good buyers agent set up a general search for what you are looking for and go from there. An important point is make sure you get preappoved for a loan right away that way you will know what you can afford and if you see a home that fits your needs you can move on it right away, because in this market if you are not prepared you will lose out.
If you need assistance please feel free to contact me.
At your service,
Certified Distressed Property Expert
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Marcy Moyer, Agent, San Ramon, CA
Mon Dec 24, 2012
Homes in districts with higher API scores sell for more money than equivalent homes in districts with lower API scores. This is not to say that homes in lower scoring districts do not sell, they do, just for less money. So when the market is hot, like now, homes will sell, at homes will appreciate at a similar rate. However, when the market turns sour, it will be easier to sell a home in a higher scoring district.

If you look at the Monte Loma area of Mountain View vs South Palo Alto you can see a great example. Both have homes built by Eichler and Makay, 3-4 bedrooms, 1200-1400 square feet. Monte Loma is a great area, and has a good API score, but not as high as Palo Verde in South Palo Alto. Homes in south Palo Alto sell for 1.3-1.5 million, and homes in Monte Loma are selling for 850-950K.

Marcy Moyer
Keller Williams Realty
D.R.E. 01191194
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what does API score mean? I am looking to buy a house in the Bay Area, preferably around Mountain View and Sunnyvale. Is 2013 a good time to buy, especially the first- two quarters?
Flag Mon Dec 24, 2012
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Mon Dec 24, 2012
If you are like me, with all kids grown and moved away, it means less than to a new parent or one with kids in school. School districts with good statistics are sought out and when availability is reduced and demand increased = prices go up. The law of supply and demand take over. Selling a house in a desirable school district can increase the time it sells and can increase the prices they sell for. Selling is a poor school district can do just the opposite. It all depends on the buyer and their needs and wants.
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Thanks Tim, that helps.
Flag Mon Dec 24, 2012
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