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Easy as A-B-C: Helpful Tips for Back-to-School Home Buying

Easy as A-B-C: Helpful Tips for Back-to-School Home Buying

If you have children (and  even if you don’t), you probably are not surprised to know that school districts impact the home-buying decisions of almost 2/3 of potential home buyers today. What you may find surprising is just how important the right district is for many of those buyers.

In fact, a recent realtor.com survey suggests that a specific school district may cause buyers to give up certain “must haves” in a home – just to be in the district of their choice. According to the survey, buyers are likely to sacrifice pools, extra rooms and square footage for the right school district.

The realtor.com survey also found that over 50% of buyers said they are willing to extend their home-buying budget to reside within the lines of their preferred district. If you are like 2/3 of people out there, what can you do to make sure you find the perfect home in the perfect district?

Here are five tips to send school-district-minded buyers to the head of the class:

1. Do the Math: If you know that you are able to extend your home-buying budget to guarantee your kids are able to attend school in your district of choice, figure out exactly how much you’re willing to stretch it to make that happen. Knowing in advance may save heartache later, if you find a home that is perfect, but just out of your (extended) budget. Don’t forget to tally in school taxes when you’re crunching numbers!   

2. Don’t Forget the Subtraction: Everyone has a “must have” list when they’re searching for a new home. But, if you’re searching for a new home in a specific school district, it may be important to differentiate your “must have” list from your “would be nice” list. What would you be willing to sacrifice for the right school?

3. Hit the Books: If you’re moving to a new area and you’re not familiar with all of the school districts in the region, don’t just rely on information that you receive from a “friend of a friend who knows someone in the area.” Even a quick online search will give you plenty of information about a district’s academics, athletics and overall reputation.

4. Explore the Options: Some districts actually allow students to travel outside of their home districts to attend different schools. There are also many charter and other private school options for students. So, if you do find the perfect home, but it is not in your district of choice, it may still make the grade.

5. Raise Your Hand: Don’t be afraid to ask your agent questions about school districts where you are considering buying a home. And, remember, just like when you were in school… there are no stupid questions!

For more information on back-to-school home-buying, check out the realtor.com survey here.