Scoping out Neighborhoods with the Best Schools
Sure, that beautiful home in a quaint little neighborhood would make a serene getaway, but is it worth it if you have to send your kids to an under-performing school district? Yeah, you could work around that and drive a long distance to get your bundles of joy in a good school system, but why not nip that problem in the bud before that becomes reality.
Here are some tips on how to find right neighborhood for you and your kiddos:
DECIDE WHICH TYPE OF SCHOOL YOU WANT FOR YOUR KIDS
Not all of us can afford to send out children to a private school, but it does open up housing options. Most private schools offer some leeway as far as that your address is concerned. If you plan on going to public school route, make sure you are well inside the boundaries of the designated school zone. That’s because often times, officials redraw school zones, which means houses on the edge of those boundaries can get swept into a different zone.
TALK TO YOUR REAL ESTATE AGENT
Your agent should know plenty about the neighborhood. If you have your eye on a certain school, have them narrow your search to homes within that school zone. Sometimes, the mapping of school zones can be a convoluted mess, so trusting your agent’s expertise could keep you from accidentally missing the mark.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
The advent of the internet makes combing through potential school districts a lot easier than it was in the past. There are several great websites that rank school systems by city, county, and state. The National Center for Education Statistics and GreatSchools are wonderful, impartial resources as well.
GO FOR A VISIT
Most school systems are accommodating, so reach out to them for a tour. Don’t be afraid to ask A LOT of questions. For example, how do they discipline students? Are there special programs to give your children a leg up on other students? How are teachers and staff keeping up with times?
THINK RESALE VALUE
I know what you’re thinking. “I just bought this house”. Well, it’s never too early to think about building on your investment. Homes in higher performing school districts typically see their value grow over time, which means you could be building value without lifting a finger.