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Is It Worth Paying Extra to Live near a Good School?

By Allison Halliday | January 2, 2015

According to the Brookings Institution, owning a property near a high-scoring school can increase its value by more than $200,000, a massive sum for most people. Although real estate experts may argue that correlation between home prices and proximity to school systems isn’t linear, there are a number of advantages that can come from living close to a good school.

These advantages can include use of school facilities, living in a drug-free school zone and increased police protection. Experts advise looking at parent reviews, any special programs offered by these schools and alternative schools in the area, as well as test scores. Popular or high-scoring schools are likely to raise demand for homes in those areas.


However it’s also worth considering the disadvantages of living near a school, particularly as teenagers can act up. One particular example cited in the article on is the fact that a school with teenagers can be full of young drivers, most of whom will only have had their licenses for a year or so. This can increase the amount of traffic in the area by quite some margin. If you do intend to buy near a school then it can be better to consider one for younger children. In this case you will need to be prepared for an increase in traffic at the beginning and end of the school day, but it should be reasonably quiet the rest of the time.

The article also points out that it is important to think about the reality of actually living in a home near a school, rather than merely thinking about home values. Any property near a public building such as a school, church or meeting hall will see a huge increase in traffic at particular times of the day or even during the year. This can make it difficult to get to and from your home and may make it tricky for visitors to park near your property.

The upside is that the rest of the time you are likely to benefit from a property that is quiet and well-maintained. If you already own a home near a school, and are perhaps thinking of selling up quite soon, real estate agents advise listing the property in the summer, if possible, when school is out. In addition, the number of potential buyers might be more limited as your home will hold the most appeal for parents with kids in the exact age bracket of the school.

Allison Halliday is a Realty Biz News contributing writer. She handles International Real Estate and is a seasoned blogger.
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