According to Realtor.com, there are many specific neighborhood features that could drag a home’s value down. By far, the number one negative feature is BAD SCHOOLS!
According to this same source, homes that are surrounded by low rated schools received 22.2% LESS MONEY than the median price of homes that are of similar characteristics.
Other negative neighborhood features are: Strip Clubs, Homeless Shelters, Energy Plants, Shooting Ranges, Power Lines & Towers, Dumps & Recycling Centers, Factories, Highways/Busy Roads, Train Tracks, Airport Runways and Flight Paths.
As a buyer, even though you may not have kids and believe “schools are of no concern to me,” please keep in mind homes within a low rated school system could hurt your resale value. Conversely, if a home gets rezoned for better-rated schools, it could greatly appreciate your home value.
Crystal and I live in the Southern Oaks neighborhood just south of Downtown Orlando. Recently, our middle school was rezoned to a better-rated school and our home value has increased.
There are a number of ways to determine the quality of a school system. Some of them include:
· Check online sites for statistics on test scores, curriculum offered, rate of attendance, percentage of students going on to higher education, etc.
· Visit the school. Speaking to the principal and other department heads is a good move.
· Speak to your real estate agent A good buyer’s agent should have a general understanding of which schools are considered top notch and which are less desirable.
· Talk to parents who have kids in the school system. A parent can share with you how good the teachers are and the quality of education their child is receiving.
Other statistics worth looking at include:
· Student to teacher ratio
· Testing results in math, reading, and science
· Cost per pupil
· Enrollment and class sizes for students
· Teacher educational attainment- how many teachers have Master’s degrees or PhDs?
· Languages offered.
· The number and size of specialized programs for gifted or needy students.
While none of these methods alone are full proof, by using all of them you will have a better understanding of the school system and whether it will meet your child’s needs.