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Old 04-28-2018, 01:58 AM
46 posts, read 29,187 times
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It is always mentioned that school districts should be considered while buying a house.
What about schools? What if the house is near average schools in an otherwise excellent school district?

For someone with kids only in future, is it better to buy house with good schools in average school district or average schools in good school district? As someone who is not that familiar with US school system, I'm wondering how much does a great school district help if the school ratings are average.

Another question is over say 5-6 years, do average test scores for a school change? Or do they generally stay the same?

Last edited by Seattler123; 04-28-2018 at 02:22 AM..
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Old 04-28-2018, 08:36 AM
2,773 posts, read 1,506,869 times
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Buy a house you like in the desired specific school boundary.
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Old 04-28-2018, 09:18 AM
Location: Raleigh NC
7,781 posts, read 6,136,961 times
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It depends, a lot, on each of your questions.

First, the quality of the individual school/small school district matters a lot more if the primary buying demographic of that size/location home is families with school-aged children.

Second, the size of the school/school district matters. In some locations (like mine) the district is county-wide and large and funded "equally" across the schools. In others - the NE seems predominantly like this - districts are very small, by small town and so the nearby taxes (if not a special school tax too) pay for those nearby schools.

So, in my large school district there are over 100 elementary schools. Not all 100 are great, not all are average, and not all are awful. There's about 10 outstanding and 10 languishing and the rest fall in a reasonably tight range. The 10 best do generally have the highest-price-for-their-size homes.

So, the primary question I would ask towards your question - can you better define the size of your school district?

If it's good but there's only 3 elementary schools, and one is clearly superior than the last, then it's pretty obvious, yes?

And yes, test scores absolutely change over a 5 year period. The "best" school today won't likely become the worst, but as the demographics of the attending population change - and as teachers turn over and principals are maybe shuffled around - the mantle of BEST school can and does change. Conversely, it's not likely the WORST school become even REALLY GOOD, but it can improve significantly.
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Old 04-28-2018, 10:10 AM
Location: North Idaho
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Good schools help values a little bit. I don't think a house in the "wrong" school boundaries is a deal breaker unless the school is actually dangerous, violent, or very low test scores. You want to be careful about being within the boundary that collects the students from the town ghetto and has knifings in the s hool hallways.
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Old 04-28-2018, 10:20 AM
Location: Rochester, WA
3,837 posts, read 2,061,340 times
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Using test score averages to compare schools or assess homes with that much detail, not now but at some point in the future, is a bit like trying to measure something with a micrometer and cut it with an axe. When comparing good to great to average, consider that area growth, inevitable staff changes, the interest and involvement of parents, quality of the home life, the extracurricular hobbies and talents of your child and the luck of the draw on your child's future best friends will have a lot more do do with their inevitable success than comparing the average test scores in a district, IMHO.
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Old 04-28-2018, 12:19 PM
Location: Mostly in my head
19,641 posts, read 53,545,549 times
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I would go for the good district. Due to over/under enrollment, individual school boundaries change within the district. My district built a new school about 3 yrs ago and now my neighborhood feeds to the new school. Both are very good and they both feed the same junior high. Changes happen.
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Old 04-28-2018, 04:06 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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It won’t make as much difference for a small starter home, like a 2br 1 bath. Many people, like us started that way and then sold and moved to a bigger house in a better School area when we had a kid ready for Kindergarten. That was 7 years later and by then we had equity, and like us, the buyers were a young coup,e with no kids yet. The bigger the house the more likely schools are important to buyers. When you have none but plan to, just avoid bad schools. As long as they are decent, you should be OK, but in 5+ years any school could be better or worse than now.
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