5 Reasons School Ratings Matter When House Shopping

Schools can have a big impact on property value and quality of life. If you're buying a home, here are a few reasons local school ratings matter, even if you don't have kids.

1. The next buyer will consider the school ratings, too

According to the 2014 National Association of REALTORS Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 29 percent of homebuyers listed school quality and 22 percent listed proximity to schools as deciding factors in their home purchase. Another survey conducted by Realtor.com showed that 91 percent of the people surveyed included school district boundaries in their decision-making process. You may be surprised to learn that not all of the shoppers involved in the studies had kids.

2. More money spent on schools means more money spent on homes

There's a correlation between school expenditures and home values in any given neighborhood, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Their report, "Using Market Valuation to Assess Public School Spending," found that for every dollar spent on public schools in a community, home values increased $20.

3. Higher school ratings equal higher home values

A Brookings Institution study looked at the 100 largest metro areas in the country and found an average difference of $205,000 in home prices between houses near high-performing and low-performing schools.

4. And good school ratings help homes maintain value

While changes in the economic landscape and local area can ripple across the market, a great school district can sometimes help insulate a home from market fluctuations.

5. Great school districts usually mean great neighborhoods

Often there's a correlation between super school districts and safer neighborhoods, better shopping and transportation and great public amenities – like parks. All of these factors increase the desirability of the neighborhood, which translates to higher home values and a better deal for you when it's time to sell.


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