Kids or no kids – School Districts still matter!
Since it’s back to school season, I thought it would be helpful to touch on the topic of school districts. There are reasons to factor school district ratings into your purchase, whether you have children or not! So, we’ll split the reasons into two obvious groups.
I Have/Will have Kids – What Should I Do?
Just being upfront: as a realtor, I’m not allowed to tell you information OR my opinion about a school district (at least in CT). But, you should definitely do your research on a school district before moving. Different school districts may have different benefits – some have small student-to-teacher ratios, others have great special education programs, extra-curricular activities, or sports.
There are several websites online that provide school ratings so those are worth looking up (I’m not sure if I’m ethically allowed to link them, so use your google-fu wisely). You can also google individual school districts and read their mission statements, see how their website looks/is maintained. Ideally, it should not look like this:
You can also google the districts and see what information about them has been in the news. Students winning awards? Teachers going on strike? These can help paint an accurate portrait of a district.
I Don’t Have Kids So I Can Ignore Schools, Right?
Sure, but you probably shouldn’t. As a general rule/trend, property prices tend to be higher in towns with better school districts, so school ratings are important for your future resale value. Of course you can move wherever you’d like and not worry about the school districts, but just keep in mind your town’s house prices might not increase as much as you’d like and you might not sell your house as quickly in an average or below-average district.
In the end, it’s up to you what’s important in a house (style, size, commute, neighborhood) and maybe schools are not really a big factor in your decision. But just remember the districts can affect overall property values and to think about your future resale value, even if you don’t have children.