How to Find a Good School District When House Hunting
For families with children (or those who plan on having children), the issue of finding a school in your area will always be an important one. If you and your family are relocating, even if it’s just to the other side of town, a good academic environment is nearly as important as a good home. So, how do you get the best of both worlds? Here’s what to keep in mind when considering how to find a good school district when looking for your next home.
What to Look For
When trying to find a good school district in the midst of your house search, the most vital thing is to do your research. Many online resources pool information like test scores, city/state rankings, demographic information, and student-to-teacher ratio. Some of these resources include SchoolDigger and GreatSchools, both of which allow detailed statistical comparisons. As a matter of common sense, many of the of the best indicators of academic quality are the basic, relied-upon statistics such as test scores and percentage of chronically absent students.
Also, consider the needs and learning styles of your child. Every child is different, and some schools are simply better equipped to instruct than others. Finding a school that feels like a good match is important, so it’s a good idea to visit promising schools at least once to find the best candidate. Keep an eye out for creative, non-traditional opportunities to learn, such as clubs, music programs, or any extracurricular offering that develops creativity and outside-the-box thinking.
After all your research, you may still want to consider an option that doesn’t appear to be the “best” in town. The top-caliber schools in any area tend to have overcrowding and budget issues. With this in mind, consider a “sleeper” school that is up-and-coming, showing promising development and faculty.
The Drawbacks of Finding “The Best”
While heading straight into buying a home once you find a good school district might seem like the right call, it’s important to remember a few issues that many people glance over. First of all, consider that your home’s value may not appreciate beyond the value you pay. Any added value has most likely already been accounted for in the price you paid, and it’s actually more likely that the value will stagnate or decrease.
Also keep in mind that local government policies can change relatively quickly, which can fundamentally alter schools and their governing districts. Cost of living is also demonstrably higher for households in top-quality school districts, factoring in things like property tax, insurance premiums, and maintenance. And interestingly enough, the feeling of “keeping up with the Joneses” you might encounter has actually been proven to be a real factor, as discovered in a study of lottery winners and their neighbors by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve.
Ensuring the best possible education for your children is not a pursuit to be neglected. When attempting to find a good school district and a compatible nearby home, it’s important to do the legwork and research your options thoroughly. If the house hunt feels overwhelming, reach out to Pauly Presley Realty today! We take pride in matching Austin residents to their ideal homes, and we can’t wait to do the same for you.