03-29-2010 11:40 PM
My wife and I bought a house in Castro Valley in large part to the well-rated K though 12 school system compared to nearby Oakland or San Leandro. We figured we'd avoid having to pay for private schooling down the line by spending more on our house to get in a good area. Now, my question is where do you think community school rankings fit within the general priority ranking for home value? Is the nearby sold value of homes in a 1 mile area the top priority when estimating the sales value of a home? Square footage? Year built? What about air quality? There were a bunch of listings within 200 yards of the 880 and 580 highways when we were looking back in 2009; California has a new law that new schools can't be built within 500 yards of a freeway so anything short of that distance is probably a negative. I'd love to hear people's thoughts on this.
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03-30-2010 12:20 AM
Good question! In short, school ratings pay a huge part in determining a home's value. It is not uncommon to see a 10-15% price differential between two nearby homes with similar size and features located with different school districts. The other factors you mention also effect the value to a certain extent. A home located on a busy street or adjacent to a freeway is slightly less valuable than the same home in a more peaceful location. The age of the home is less influential, condition is more of a factor. When we look at comparable homes we usually exclude homes that are significantly larger or smaller. When analyzing the value of a home we typically look at nearby similar homes that have recently sold (within one mile, within three months), and adjust for things such as school district, location, bedroom count, condition, and amenities.
03-30-2010 12:34 PM
School Districts are very important in determining value. In our area of Arizona all of the better school districts have the highest populations and home prices. Be aware that as Realtors® by law we cannot steer you too or from a certain area or school district. There are great websites(including our own) that will help you with that.http://schoolmatters.com
04-07-2010 08:21 PM
Being in a better school district is always a plus...but a plus that is hard to quantify exactly.
An appraiser seems to give more weight to details like sq footage,and comps in the area by proximity that are within a few months. They may not factor in the particular school, just the school district.
An appraiser isn't buying the home, though. And as they say, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
If you find a buyer who puts a value on the school district, they may be willing to pay a premium for it.
04-08-2010 01:09 PM
Thanks everyone for your comments. My wife and I used http://www.greatschools.org/ when comparing school districts. It was amazing to see the prices on homes in good Oakland elementary school districts like Redwood Heights (9 out of 10 rating). There were homes going for $400K - $500K back in Fall '09 that would have required about $200K to fix it up before moving in. The school lottery system in Oakland got us nervous about looking in Oakland because there's a chance that even if you live near the elementary school of your choice, you might not get in. We're pretty happy with Castro Valley so far!