Some homes receive higher marks than others based on one factor: the property’s location within a top-ranked school district. When the National Association of REALTORS® surveyed homebuyers, they found that 53% of buyers with children in the home under 18 years of age said the quality of the school districts is an important factor when purchasing a home. Only 10 percent of buyers with no children at home felt similarly.
It’s also important to understand that decisions about school preferences are entirely up to you. The Fair Housing Act prohibits real estate professionals from sharing their opinions about schools, crime rates, and other factors that may inadvertently steer a buyer into or away from a neighborhood.
As a buyer, you have total freedom in deciding where you want to live. That also means it’s your responsibility to do your research on various neighborhood considerations.
Once you’ve set your boundaries, we will be at your side, helping you find the best home for your needs and budget.
- Neighborhood Public Schools
- Charter Schools
- Magnet Schools
- Online Public Schools
- Private Schools
- Alternative Schools
How Do You Pick A School?
There are various ways to decide if a particular school or school district measures up against your priorities. There are websites that provide ratings and comparison tools based on test scores and other factors for schools, such as Greatschools.org and Niche.com.
Make a List
Make a list of the features you want in the school your child attends. According to the U.S. Department of Education website, some of the basics to look for at any effective school include:
- High expectations
- Great teachers and staff
- Busy, visible children
- Rigorous curriculum
- Vibrant parent-teacher association
- Parents welcomed and questions answered
In addition, the website recommends checking the schools standardized test scores as well to ensure students are performing at appropriate academic levels.
Pay a Visit
When you find a school that looks like a good fit for your child, it is a good idea to visit to see classrooms and meet faculty and staff. While you are at the school, you should be allowed to visit with the principal, teachers and other parents to get a good idea of what the expectations are for parent involvement, how faculty and staff relate to students and what the overall learning environment looks like.
Before your school visit, prepare some questions to ask the principal and teachers you meet. Some good questions listed at CNN include:
- How are teachers trained, supported and monitored?
- How are behavior problems handled at the school?
- How much homework is given to students?
You will probably have a number of your own questions as well, based on the specific learning needs and temperament of your child. Write questions down before you visit to ensure you don’t forget to ask any of them.
Talk to Parents, Students
While staff may put their best foot forward during a visit, parents and students at the school will often tell it like it is. Talk to neighbors or parents you meet while visiting the school to find out if they and their children are happy with the quality of education offered there. Ask if the staff is responsive to needs and concerns and if parents are involved with the school’s operations. Try using online community platforms like Nextdoor.com or FaceBook.