Saturday, October 3, 2009

School Districts

A home located in a good school district is not only beneficial for parents with children, but also advantageous for home owners as this can add 10%, 20%, or more to the value of a home. With the challenging public school environment and high cost of private schools, homes in good public school districts have become more valuable than ever.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, this effect can be seen in the Cupertino and Palo Alto communities. Schools in these areas include Gunn High School, Palo Alto High School, Cupertino High School, Monta Vista High School, Homestead High School, and Lynbrook High School. Homes in these areas have seen a consistent appreciation in home values even through a weakening housing market, due in part to high demand for the school districts. Often, homes in these school districts are at least 20% higher than comparable homes in surrounding communities. In fact, homes on the border in neighboring cities such as Sunnyvale that feed into these school districts are much higher priced than other homes on the same block that don’t feed into the highly desired school districts.

When shopping for a home, consider whether or not school districts are important to you. There are many homes in good areas which do not feed into premier public school districts, and you can get a lot more house for your money if you are willing to compromise on school district. If a good school district is important to you, note you will be paying more for this and getting less home for your money.

If you happen to buy a home because it is in a good school district such as Cupertino or Palo Alto, beware that simply having an address in the city is not good enough to guarantee your child admission into the schools. School districts follow strict borders and guidelines which determine which schools your child will attend. Be sure to ask the school district where a particular home feeds into, no matter what the realtor or existing home seller may say to you. In addition, ask the school district if there are enrollment limits, and if so, how this is determined and which school your child may be sent to if limits are reached. Buying a home in a school district is a huge investment, so make sure you do your homework before closing on a home.

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