real estate

How to inspect your future neighborhood

Do homework on the neighborhood schools
Do homework on the neighborhood schools © Littleny/Shutterstock.com

Have kids who are in school (or will be)? You'll need to thoroughly vet their future school. Real estate agents might be reluctant to talk much about your school district if it isn't exemplary.

Fortunately, there are online resources. School demographics and student-teacher ratios can be found at the National Center for Education Statistics website, NCES.ed.gov, by clicking on "School Search," while school ratings and reviews can be seen at GreatSchools.org.

There's no substitute, however, for a tour to inspect a school's character, safety and culture. "Ask about class size, enrollment growth and adequate school funding," Davis says. "The quality of the school district has a lot to do with resale value."

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