Purchasing a home comes with a number of considerations—quality of neighborhood, traffic congestion, convenience to support a lifestyle, school district rankings. What if I told you that one of the most influential factors when deciding where to buy is the school district that is among the neighborhood?
While many may think that it’s the actual house that drives borrowers to make the final purchase on a home, a recent survey found on Realtor.com shows school district boundaries affect the buying decisions for more than 60% of homebuyers, and more than 90% said that buying a home in the school district of their choice is “important."
True, buying a home is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. But, deciding on where your child will receive their education is among those significant decisions, too. So you’re probably thinking, how on earth do I evaluate the school districts and decide on a home? Rest assured; we’re here to help. Below are five ways to help you make the right choice for your family. Feel free to re-prioritize them in a way that works best for you.
1. Check the data
Check the state education department’s website and look for the school’s profile. Compare its average scores to schools in similar neighborhoods. Seek out additional educational considerations, such as tutoring opportunities, should the need arise.
Choosing a home when you have kids can be a difficult process in itself, and an added good-school-district-consideration may make the task seem even more overwhelming. But, starting with that in mind, it may help alleviate some of the home-hunting stress when determining where to start looking, and get you started on the homebuying process. After all, all good things start with a happy family in a happy home!
2. Talk to local parents
If a stranger came up to you at the grocery store and asked you your thoughts and opinions about the local school, would you think twice about telling them? Of course not! It’s your unspoken sense of duty among parents on such occasions. Let’s be real; parents talk—good, bad, and everything in between. You many even go as far as calling the school for the names and numbers of a few PTA officers and give them a friendly call. Be polite, listen carefully, and don’t forget to take notes! You will learn a lot from a proud parent whose kid(s) go to the school you are interested in.
3. Visit the school and ask to speak to the staff
Where picking up the vibes of the school building may be useful, visiting with staff is crucial. Make sure to ask about the school philosophy, school culture, curriculum followed, and discuss your child’s special interests and needs, should any be present. Be sure to ask questions that will benefit your kids such as: Is the school rated number one in sports? How is the schools drama program? Does the school offer a number of extracurricular sports?
4. Listen to your kids
Depending on your child’s age, ask them what they think of a certain school. Middle school and high school aged students may be privy to their own findings, according to what they may have heard through the grapevine, whether it's something they have found on social media or even through a mutual friend who lives in the area.
5. Go with your gut
You know that butterfly feeling you may get from time to time when your stomach and brain make a connection on a non-food-related decision? Consider how you react on an emotional level to a school. If you’re not feeling it, further investigate that “spidey sense.” Chances are, your kids will sense that you have doubts at a time when they need to believe that this is the ultimate place for them.
Following these five steps will not only help you find the ideal area for your family to live, it will also help you build a strong peace of mind, knowing that you have chosen the ultimate location for your child to learn and grow as an individual. After all, you only want what's best for your family, and their happiness is everything!
If the homebuying process seems overwhelming, let us help!
Always consult a Realtor for Real Estate related questions.