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Unread 08-26-2011, 11:18 PM
 
254 posts, read 230,046 times
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Default How to get into a good school district?

Unfortunately, we bought a house in a so-so school district in San Jose. The house has lost most of our downpayment. Does anybody have any idea how we could move into a good school district for our daughter?

We prefer not to sell our house now, because after commission we'll have exactly $0. And we do not have enough downpayment to purchase another house, let alone one in a good school district.

Any idea would be appreciated. Our goal is to move to some of these school districts: Cupertino, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Fremont (Mission San Jose)
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Unread 08-27-2011, 08:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Home Addict View Post
Unfortunately, we bought a house in a so-so school district in San Jose. The house has lost most of our downpayment. Does anybody have any idea how we could move into a good school district for our daughter?

We prefer not to sell our house now, because after commission we'll have exactly $0. And we do not have enough downpayment to purchase another house, let alone one in a good school district.

Any idea would be appreciated. Our goal is to move to some of these school districts: Cupertino, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Fremont (Mission San Jose)
Well, you could rent out your place and rent in one of your preferred areas. Of course, if you lose money on the rental, you may not be able to save up to eventually buy something else.

I know someone else in the same situation as you. They took a different approach. They decided to short sell their house and just write off the loss. They're renting in a better school district and are saving the additional money. They figure that once their credit is repaired, they will have enough savings for a house in a better area (of course that'll be several years from now).
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Unread 08-27-2011, 06:52 PM
 
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Thank you very much for your suggestion! That is a great idea.

We have done some math on being a renter and a landlord at the same time. Fortunately, we would not lose money on renting our house, thanks to Uncle Ben's low interest rate policy (at least for the next 5 years). The rent should cover the mortgage (principal and interest) and some property tax. Then we could deduct our home as an investment for 27.5 years, which means tax on investment income should be 0. We may need to refinance before mid-2013 to a longer term ARM (like a 7-year or 10-year ARM).

On the rental front, we will be paying through our noses (>$3k/mo). However, we don't need to come up with a downpayment for a house (>150k), and we don't have to worry about property tax (>10k/year). So the total cost to rent would probably be nearer to >$2k/mo.

Any school district from the list above that you have an opinion?
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Unread 08-27-2011, 07:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Home Addict View Post
Thank you very much for your suggestion! That is a great idea.
This is an even better idea than I originally thought - we have flexibility should something happens to a particular school district! And not be tied down to a house.

And, after losing so much in our house, I am not sure putting another huge downpayment (20%+) again is such a good idea. It took us 10+ years to accumulate the last downpayment...
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Unread 08-27-2011, 10:05 PM
 
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I'd be kind of curious to know exactly what sort of effect a school district's rating has on an individual child's academic achievement.

I usually figure that Menlo Park has a great school district not so much because of the schools, but because of the parents.

Wonder if there's a study floating around...
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Unread 08-28-2011, 12:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nr5667 View Post
I'd be kind of curious to know exactly what sort of effect a school district's rating has on an individual child's academic achievement.

I usually figure that Menlo Park has a great school district not so much because of the schools, but because of the parents.

Wonder if there's a study floating around...
Menlo Park is great for K-8. In high school, Menlo Atherton is the feeder school for both Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. So, its a combination of wealthy parents and gang bangers, hence the much lower rating than the high schools in Palo Alto.
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Unread 08-28-2011, 06:49 PM
 
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Have you looked into intra-district transfer? There are also Charter schools all over the bay area you could apply for which don't require you live in a certain area. I know some charter schools are on the lottery system but it is worth to see the requirements for the schools near you.

Maybe doing private school for a short time might be a better option too. It is a lot cheaper than moving!

There is also homeschooling, if private school is not an option.

Good luck!
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Unread 08-28-2011, 07:49 PM
 
254 posts, read 230,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeSunset View Post
Have you looked into intra-district transfer? There are also Charter schools all over the bay area you could apply for which don't require you live in a certain area. I know some charter schools are on the lottery system but it is worth to see the requirements for the schools near you.

Maybe doing private school for a short time might be a better option too. It is a lot cheaper than moving!

There is also homeschooling, if private school is not an option.

Good luck!
Thanks. Private school is definitely an option. With private schools, there are pupils from various backgrounds (geographical, ethnic, social caste). The one near my home is indeed on a lottery system.

With private schools, there is this discontinuity between K-8 and 9-12, where students will go to different highschools. We would like our daughter to keep her circle of friends when possible.

Homeschooling is not an option for us, as we need two incomes to keep up.
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Unread 08-28-2011, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Escondido, CA
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Do you have any good reasons to think that your schools are not good enough? Is it because your child is already going to school and there's something specific that you don't like, or are you just concerned about test scores in the Internet?

Private school is not really an option. Private schools tend to be either crappy or expensive. A private school of the same caliber as any public school in Palo Alto/Cupertino will easily cost you 2k/month or more.
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Unread 08-29-2011, 12:22 PM
 
254 posts, read 230,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esmith143 View Post
Do you have any good reasons to think that your schools are not good enough? Is it because your child is already going to school and there's something specific that you don't like, or are you just concerned about test scores in the Internet?

Private school is not really an option. Private schools tend to be either crappy or expensive. A private school of the same caliber as any public school in Palo Alto/Cupertino will easily cost you 2k/month or more.
Yeah. I don't like the students hanging out around school campus until 5 or 6. They maybe "good enough", but they could put their time into much better use.

Why not be better? Why not give your children the opportunity to be better?
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