Is it worth it to pay $200K more for the same house in a slightly better neighborhood/school system?

Asked by Jenntish, 07747 Mon Feb 9, 2009

Do we pay $750K to "upgrade" to Marlboro from Old Bridge... to get to a school system ranked as #115 or so instead of the OB schools at #211?

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11
Gregory Bain, , Ocean County, NJ
Thu Feb 12, 2009
O.K., I see what you mean by "slightly better". Rumson is "slightly better" than Middletown and Holmdel is "slightly better" than Matawan. So you are correct. You can travel 20 minutes down the road to a "slightly better" neighborhood and have a $200,000 price difference. Is it worth it? Well, the people in Rumson and Holmdel think so. But, that doesn't make them snobby.
Web Reference:  http://GregoryBain.com
1 vote
Gregory Bain, , Ocean County, NJ
Tue Feb 10, 2009
I have seen almost a $100K difference in price for a similar home 20 minutes down the highway, but I have never ever seen a home that you could pick up and move to a "slightly better" neighborhood and school system for an instant $200,000 increase in value. I would love to know the address of these two identical homes. There must be more to your story that you are not telling.
Web Reference:  http://GregoryBain.com
1 vote
Phyllis Katz, , Manalapan, NJ
Tue Aug 4, 2009
Dear Jennifer,

May I suggest to you that you do some research as to why the schools are ranked so differently. I have some school information on my favorite links on my webpage that might be helpful. On the high school level, you could check to see the SAT scores and this could be helpful. Also, you might want to make an appt. to speak to someone at any school you are interested in. You might want to find out how many children got into ivy league schools or received scholarships. I have lived in Manalapan for almost 25 years and I moved here because of the schools, but I would have moved to any of the towns over here if I had found the house I wanted. I hope this helps you in making your decision about moving. I know that I would be happy in a $750,000 house in Marlboro.
0 votes
Amber Noble…, Agent, Morganville, NJ
Thu Feb 12, 2009
Hi Jennifer:

I'm sure you've heard this before, but let me reitterate "now is a GREAT time to buy a home." Not a "pick up line"...it's just the plain truth. Interest rates are still low, and prices are lower than they've been in quite some time.

If you have equity in your current home you have the potential to make a profit on it's sale, and you can possibly negotiate an attractive price for your future home.

I am familiar with the development you live in. There is a strong demand for homes in Yardley Manor, so if you decide to list your home you should fair well.

The caveats involved are:

*The homes must be priced correctly
*Exposed/marketed aggressively
*Shown in the best possible light visually
*The agent must be able to effectively explain the Matawan/O.B. connection to potential buyers

Sure...A home similar to yours, but one that is located in Holmdel may cost more. However, it doesn't have to necessarily cost $200K more. In fact, I can think of a lovely home in particular in Holmdel that you could purchase for far less than a $200K markup. If your interested, let me know and I will email it to you directly.

I recently sold a single family home a few blocks from you on a cul de sac (Clearbrook Ct), and another one of my buyers almost recently purchased one of your neighbor's homes on Edinburg.

Need more specifics? Want to discuss your options? Feel free to reach me on my cell. I'd love to talk to you live.

All the best,
Amber

AMBER NOBLE-GARLAND
Realtor-Associate / Multi-Million Dollar Producer
Weichert, Realtors (Marlboro~ Manalapan office)
455 Route 9 South
Manalapan, NJ 07726
917-723-5645 - cell
732-536-4400, ext 199 - office

http://www.AmberLovesRealEstate.com

"Your Reliable Resource For Real Estate, Local Info & More"
0 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Thu Feb 12, 2009
Jennifer, if the school system in Old Bridge is good (more than just adequate) for you... and you're happy with it... personally, and professionally... I would save the money.

While Gregory is right... you'll never be able to MOVE the house.... school districts do change. Sometimes the district map lines are changed, and sometimes the administration changes, and suddenly scores drop (or improve) and you'll find that you've paid $200,000 more, and you're back in the lower ranked district again.

If the less expensive option is acceptable to you... unless you're flush with money (and who IS these days?), I'd opt for the less expensive option.
0 votes
Jenntish, Both Buyer And Seller, 07747
Thu Feb 12, 2009
We currently live in the Yardley Manor development in Matawan/Old Bridge. We have 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, full finished walkout basement, backed to the woods, 9 year old house. From my understanding, it may be 200K (or more potentially) for this same type of home in Holmdel. Please help correct me if I'm wrong!
0 votes
Dave Heck, , Arcadia, CA
Tue Feb 10, 2009
$200,000 for a "slight" improvement? I am skeptical. A childs education is a priorty for all of us. I might look at taking the money and spending it on the best private school I could find. Don't forget to count the money you would save on taxes, insurance, commissions...if you didn't move.
0 votes
Heather Dacc…, , Monmouth County, NJ
Tue Feb 10, 2009
Hi Jennifer,
I answered your other question also. Whenever people have children the school district is number #1. In my opinion, since you are talking about educating your children for the future I would say YES it is worth it to pay for a better school system but that is a personal choice.

Thanks,
Heather Daccurso
Weichert Realtors
Office: 732-577-0440
Cell: 732-580-5309
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Tue Feb 10, 2009
Hi Jennifer, this captures the challenge in comparing choices and weighing your priorities and their value. The fact is, only you can answer this question. In the process of your search, if the ranking of the school system has bubbled up to the top of your priority list, then the answer may very well be yes. I would add to the previous posters comment this thought - consider both school systems and whether you will be satisfied continuing to use them through high school. If the answer is no to the community with the lesser ranked schools and yes to the higher ranked one, then four years in a private high school will eat into the differential in no time.

Since you regard the difference between neighborhood/school system as "slight" consider too that school rankings and views of neighborhoods are subjective. Yes, schools rank along established guidelines, but the results of each student is dependent upon the experience they have - not the ranking. So continue to do your homework by visiting the schools and make your own determination on how the school will serve your children.

I've no doubt you'll come to the right decision to you and your family - you are doing the right thing, think it through, consider it from all angles, and then act!

Good luck,
Jeannie Feenick
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
0 votes
Francesca Pa…, Agent, Manasquan, NJ
Mon Feb 9, 2009
Very thought provoking question, Jennifer.

I would ask myself the following questions:

Are both these school systems public schools?

Will this placement impact their ability to get into the colleges of their choice (being a full scholarship recipient in 2004 (as an adult returning to college), I'd guess that academic abilities have a far greater impact than the actual school rating)?

Would this $200K be better spent on college tuition rather than on a home and it's accompanying school system?

Francesca Patrizio, Realtor Associate
Realmart Realty - An AFFORDABLE Way to Sell Your Home
$395 FLAT FEE MLS
Ranked #20 out of 436 Real Estate Brokers in Monmouth/Ocean County MLS in 2008
Web Reference:  http://www.PatrizioRE.com
0 votes
Amber Noble…, Agent, Morganville, NJ
Mon Feb 9, 2009
Hello Jennifer:

You are asking some really thought-provoking questions. Love it!

My professional opinion is, YES it may be worth it to pay more for the same house in a slightly better neighborhood/school system. However, there are a couple of caveats that to my answer.

#1 - The "same" home but in a more desirable area with a more advanced school district MUST be in an area where the average home appreciates at a higher rate than the area you currently live in.

#2 - The school district must offer curriculum and achievement standards that will adequately equip your children to compete nationwide (and even internationally) with students who are high achievers.

A. Think of it this way, if you move to an area where the homes increase in value at a higher rate than Old Bridge, that's a PLUS.

B. If your child is moved to a school system that will offer them greater learning, extra curricular, athletic and socialization opportunities. This might increase your children's chances of earning scholarships for college, and save you $$$ in the future.

C. Lastly, your overall quality of life may be enriched, knowing you'll have the peace of mind that you made a wise decision by choosing the right home in the right area and knowing that your children are being educated to your satisfaction.

So in a nutshell Jennifer, it may very well be worth the additional investment.

Thank you for asking great questions. Please let me know if I can be of assistance to you in any way.

All the best,
Amber

AMBER NOBLE-GARLAND
Realtor-Associate / Multi-Million Dollar Producer
Weichert, Realtors (Marlboro~ Manalapan office)
455 Route 9 South
Manalapan, NJ 07726
917-723-5645 - cell
732-536-4400, ext 199 - office

http://www.AmberLovesRealEstate.com

"Your Reliable Resource For Real Estate, Local Info & More"
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