Why you should care about good schools, even if you have no kids

beverly hills high school

Realtors are quick to tout a neighborhood’s good schools since it makes living there desirable – for people who have kids. But what about people who don’t?

A new study from Realtor.com suggests the quality of schools affects everyone because it affects property values – sometimes by a lot.

“It’s common knowledge that buyers are often willing to pay a premium for a home in a strong school district,” said Javier Vivas, research analyst for realtor.com. “Our analysis quantifies just how good it is to be a seller in these areas.”

On average, Vivas says homes in top-rated districts attract a price premium of almost 50% and sell more than a week faster than those located in neighboring lower ranked school districts.

The study compared homes located in school districts rated nine or 10 on the GreatSchools.org 10 point scale to homes situated in districts rated lower. The median price of a home in one of the top 10 districts was $400,000 – 49% more than the national median of $269,000 and 77% more than homes in lower ranked districts.

While other factors may contribute to the disparity – income and size of the house – the researcher say it is clear the pursuit of quality education is a strong driver.

The Beverly Hills Unified School District is the highest rated in the country. There, homes sell for 689% more than other homes in Los Angeles County. That’s 1.6 times the premium of homes located in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, which is rated ninth.

Is it worth the premium to buy a home in one of these neighborhoods, even if you don’t have children? It will depend on individual circumstances, of course, but it just might. After all, real estate is all about location, and a neighborhood with good schools is a location a lot of buyers will always care about.

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