How Much Are Parents Spending to Live Near Good Schools?

Debbie Warford
Debbie Warford
Published on November 25, 2018
School ISD?

It’s back-to-school season and aside from shelling out money on supplies for their children, many parents are spending extra dollars to live near the best public elementary and secondary schools in their areas.

According to data from home search portal realtor.com, homebuyers in Texas, California, New York, and Washington state are spending well above their area’s median sales price to live within a mile of a school with a GreatSchools rating of 8 or higher. GreatSchools is a U.S. non-profit that ranks schools on a scale of 1 to 10 (higher is better) on a variety of factors, including educational attainment, safety, and diversity, and its data appears widely across the residential real estate industry, including integrations on realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia.

Realtor.com study released in July showed that parents of all economic backgrounds were willing to sacrifice features on their ‘must-have’ lists in order to live near a better school district.

In the survey of 1,000 buyers, 78 percent favored a great school district over the perfect home, and 80 percent said they’d give up key features such as garage (19 percent) and a large backyard (18 percent).

Buyers said good school districts had exemplary test scores (59 percent), followed by accelerated programs (53 percent), arts and music (49 percent), diversity (43 percent) and before- and after-school programs (41 percent).

“Most buyers understand that they may not be able to find a home that covers every single item on their wish list,” realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale said in a prepared statement.

“But our survey shows that school districts are an area where many buyers aren’t willing to compromise. For many buyers, ‘location, location, location,’ means ‘schools, schools, schools.’”

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