Savvy home buyers, even when they don’t have children, typically recognize the connection between good schools and strong home values. For buyers with children, the school district is often one of the top priorities when choosing a new house.
A recent survey by Realtor.com of more than 1,000 people who have purchased a home this year found that 73 percent indicated good school boundaries were important to their home search. Only 18 percent of buyers said that school boundaries were unimportant or very unimportant, and 9 percent were neutral about schools.
The survey found that home buyers in sellers' markets were willing to compromise and give up two of the top most desirable home features — a garage (19 percent of buyers who prioritized schools) or an updated kitchen (17 percent), to buy a home in their desired school district.
In addition, buyers said they gave up on their preference for a large yard (18 percent), desired number of bedrooms (17 percent) or an outdoor living area (16 percent) to get into a location within the school boundaries they wanted. According to Realtor.com’s spring buyer survey, a garage was the number one feature buyers were looking for this year, followed by an updated kitchen and an open-floor plan.
While school districts sometimes have the reputation as “good” or “bad,” fair-housing laws require real estate agents to direct their clients to school data or school districts rather than to recommend a school. Realtor.com’s survey found that good test scores were cited by 59 percent of buyers as an indication of a good school, followed by having accelerated programs (53 percent), arts and music programs (49 percent), diversity (43 percent) and before-and-after-school programs (41 percent).
For more information about the survey, click here.