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Old 05-02-2010, 09:27 AM
 
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Why are there so many homes for sale in Nakoma? Compared to other areas with ostensibly similar homes (Regent, Vilas, Shorewood Hills, etc) the exodus is enormous. Can anyone help me understand why this is?
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Old 05-03-2010, 06:17 AM
 
Location: eastern pa
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Not 100% sure. I can only speculate and speak from personal experience having lived there for 5 years a few years back. As a family with children who attended the schools there, it became apparent that our kids were not getting a good education. At first glance, you think how great it will be to be in walking distance of both the elementary and middle school. Unfortunately,busing has turned that dream into a nightmare.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:50 AM
 
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I always have heard the schools that serve that area have been bad, that is nothing new...

Plus, wasn't there some problem with water problems, quality of tap water there, not too long back?

Then you have older homes, it's harder to renovate and expand for a growing family...so I suppose it is cheaper and more middle class, kid friendly to live in Fitchburg, Verona, Middleton, Waunakee, etc.
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Old 06-30-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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Default Houses for Sale in Nakoma

The number of houses for sale in Nakoma this spring and summer isn't particularly high compared with other parts of the city. Most people who pass casually through the neighborhood do so on Nakoma Road. Several houses on that street have sold recently or are still on the market, and this may be what the commenter is noticing. But a small spike in the number of houses for sale on a particular street (or even in a particular neighborhood) usually is less a trend than a vagary of real estate.

Vilas, Shorewood, and University Heights are slightly more popular than Nakoma with tenured UW faculty members, partly because those neighborhoods generally are within walking distance of portions of the campus. The stability afforded by tenure probably does slightly reduce homeowner turnover in those neighborhoods by comparison with Nakoma. My guess (though it's just that) is that for this reason it often will be slightly easier to find the right house in Nakoma than in those other high-value neighborhoods. But just slightly.

As for the public schools in Nakoma (elementary and middle), it's true that they serve more than the neighborhood, including (but not limited to) disadvantaged areas nearby. Some parents mind this. Others don't. Some neighborhood kids may lose out in certain ways. Others really do grow and excel because of diversity. What's certain is that some kids, including smart, privileged kids (one of mine, for instance) under-perform no matter where they go to school, and where there's busing, the parents of those kids have a ready-made explanation ("the teachers had to spend all their time dealing with THEM), accurate (sometimes) or not (sometimes).

High numbers of Nakoma kids are National Merit Scholars and end up in extremely selective colleges, so something must be right about the schools. But by all means if you prefer a classic middle-American suburban public school education for your kids (and don't mind commuting in from a 3-car garage!) choose Verona, Middleton, or Waunakee. Nobody's judging. Different situations are right for different families. I wouldn't trade Madison for any suburb, but some of my friends have done just that. Others have been delighted to move INTO a good neighborhood in Madison from a suburb as soon as they could manage it. A family's particular needs are clearest seen from the inside.
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Old 06-30-2010, 05:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Skippery Boo View Post
As for the public schools in Nakoma (elementary and middle), it's true that they serve more than the neighborhood, including (but not limited to) disadvantaged areas nearby. Some parents mind this. Others don't. Some neighborhood kids may lose out in certain ways. Others really do grow and excel because of diversity. What's certain is that some kids, including smart, privileged kids (one of mine, for instance) under-perform no matter where they go to school, and where there's busing, the parents of those kids have a ready-made explanation ("the teachers had to spend all their time dealing with THEM), accurate (sometimes) or not (sometimes).

High numbers of Nakoma kids are National Merit Scholars and end up in extremely selective colleges, so something must be right about the schools.
It works the other way too. If you look at the demographics of Nakoma, and Madison in general, some of the kids are bound to do well, regardless of who's teaching them. Given that your parental stock is mostly well to do professionals, having lots of college admissions doesn't mean much. Someone smarter than me could do regression analysis and figure out if Nakoma schools do better or worse than expected given demographics.

I honestly have no idea, but I do know smarter parents means smarter kids.
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FryGuy View Post

I honestly have no idea, but I do know smarter parents means smarter kids.
Huh. I've met a lot of idiots born to smart parents. The apple *can* fall far from the tree.

That said, kids from upper class homes have advantages that kids from economically challenged homes don't - tutors, parents with flexible schedules that allow them to volunteer at school, the latest technology in their homes, etc.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:33 PM
 
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Get real folks, two words.
White Flight.
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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Trust me, there would be no reason for Nakoma families to move due to white flight. The school might be integrated, but the neighborhood is prohibitively expensive. Personally, I (and the one friend I have who lives in Nakoma) think it is nice that the school has a diversity of economic backgrounds. The only problem I could see is a lack of middle class children. Nakoma is very affluent and the Allied Drive area is very poor - not much middle ground.
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Old 07-03-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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I don't think white flight is the issue because it isn't like minorities are moving into Nakoma...it is just the schools that are in Nakoma that are predominantly minority that people are referring to, and that is because of nearby adjacen areas that are diverse...but white flight sounds too extreme and doesn't feel like an accurate term for the situation in Nakoma.

Skippery Boo made a very good analysis...
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Old 07-03-2010, 04:40 PM
 
6 posts, read 10,561 times
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Thank you for your responses to my original question. The unusually large number of houses for sale in Nakoma in May no longer reflects the current state of the market. I was curious back then if some acute incident had happened to precipitate that apparent exodus, but I appreciate the analysis of many above that this could just have been due to the fluctuating distributions of homes that reach the market each year.

Nakoma seems like a great community. We will probably be buying elsewhere in the city due to proximity to work and grocery stores.
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