Tips for Evaluating Schools Before Buying A Home

Shopping for a home leads buyers to consider an array of diverse factors, and one of the elements taken into account is the quality of the school districts. Navigating the world of real estate when deciding to buy a home can feel overwhelming, especially when shoppers are also examining school districts. Absorbing some pivotal information can make the process feel less overbearing. Be sure to check out our other Tips that every homebuyer should know.

The Connection between Schools and Real Estate

Individuals who attended private schools their whole lives, who are new to a real-estate market or who simply never thought much about school districts and homes before may not quite understand how the process works. In general, children will attend schools in the communities in which they live. Therefore, when current or future parents are purchasing houses, they need to know what the local schools are like. In other words, where a family lives typically determines where the children will go to school; for this reason, researching school districts along with prospective houses go hand in hand.

Varying Criteria

Some families who have decided to sell a home and buy another are in search of unequivocally good school districts. However, what’s important to understand is that the definition of a good school district can vary from family to family. For example, some parents want to send their children to schools that have the highest test scores or that boast the top graduation rates. In other cases, mothers and fathers are in search of schools with strong special-education programs or a focus on the arts or athletics. Before searching for a home based on the school district, families must determine exactly what it is that they want in a district.

Transportation Concerns

Before purchasing a home in a particular district, parents should find out how the district handles transportation concerns. For example, for working mothers and fathers, dropping the kids off and picking them up might prove problematic with scheduling; therefore, they would need to find a district that has buses available. Another issue here is where the children will go after school if their parents are not yet home. Parents should find out whether the school has late buses that will bring kids home from an after-school program. Sometimes, these services are available before the school day begins too. Families must also assess how far the house is from the school itself and if the distance will cause an issue. While the schools should certainly take up residence in the community, some houses are likely on the outskirts of the district.

Safety

Evaluating the safety of the schools in the district is of utmost importance. In general, the safety of a school is going to have a connection to the safety of the community in which it is in. In other words, schools in communities with high crime rates are likely to prove less safe than schools in communities with low crime rates. High crime rates in an area can also cause a number of other educational problems. For example, the schools may have low graduation rates, poor college-acceptable rates or too few resources to adequately educate the students. Crime statistics are available from Resources like City-data.com/crime or numbeo.com/crime.

Tours and Visits

Looking at schools on paper can make the process difficult. Instead, parents should find out if tours are available of the schools. While they may not have the ability to attend the school while classes are in session, they may have the option of going when the school is closed for a break. Taking a tour of the school can provide families with a sense of whether or not the school is the right fit for them. Also, speaking with school officials can help contribute to the decision-making process. Some schools host events that are open to the community at large. Attending one or two of these events can help parents to get a sense of what the school is like and what it may have to offer to their children.

Buying a house isn’t just about picking out the most spacious one with the most modern features, especially for people who have children or who plan to have children. Seriously considering these factors and evaluating the different school districts play major roles in selecting the right dwelling for the family.  For facts about specific schools, the best recommendation is to contact or visit the school and or district office personally. Contact your local Realtor for any questions about buying or selling homes or condos.

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Special Ashley Bickford thanks to Stephanie Pepper of Coastal Properties of Cabo for these home buying tips.

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