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Homebuyers sacrifice for good schools

By Polyana da Costa ·
Monday, July 29, 2013
Posted: 3 pm ET

Would you rather live in a home with a pool or a home near good schools? Most homebuyers say they would be willing to give up amenities and pay more for a home to live in their desired school district, according to a survey.

Three in 5 homebuyers in the survey said school-district boundaries will affect their home-purchasing decision, and the majority would be willing to go above their budget to afford a home in an area with good schools.

"While the back-to-school survey results did not surprise me, they did confirm the impact school boundaries have on families looking for a home," says Leslie Piper, consumer housing specialist at "It is never too early to think about the importance of your child's education."

They'll even exceed their budgets

The survey was based on answers from 981 participants who plan to buy a home in the next two years.

More than 44 percent of respondents say they would go over budget by up to 10 percent to live in a highly rated school district. About 9 percent of the respondents say they would be willing to pay as much as 20 percent above their budget.

Potential homebuyers need to determine their buying power before moving forward with a home search, Piper says.

"Don't bite off more than you can chew," she says. "If a home within certain school-district boundaries is a must, then they must know what price range they are comfortable with and what they would be willing to sacrifice."

What buyers are willing to give up

These dedicated parents are willing to sacrifice a lot, including giving up on some highly desirable home features. Here are some of the survey's findings.

  • More than 60 percent would give up having a pool or spa.
  • More than half would give up accessibility to shopping.
  • About 43 percent would pass on a bonus room.
  • About 42 percent would give up on having nearby parks and trails.

What about you? Would you pay more for a home because of school-district boundaries?

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August 06, 2013 at 4:59 pm

I really think it depends on the area you move to. My family moved to the West Windsor, NJ area when I was young and we have a very nice piece property with amenities like a pool. My two sisters were able to attend the Stuart Country Day School and found great success while I attended public schools until college and also found my education to be more than satisfactory.

August 01, 2013 at 5:05 am

I think all this emphasis on schools is waaaaaaay overblown. If your kids are smart and diligent they'll be fine in an inner city public school. Besides, most likely your kids are just going to graduate from some expensive college you pay for and move right back in with you afterwards and work some job that doesn't even require a college degree or be unemployed. It's not like all this education is paying off like it use to. Don't be such suckers, and allow people to take advantage of you in the name of education. If education was working such life-transforming wonders for people, then all those Wall St. protesters wouldn't be around protesting, they would be working.

August 01, 2013 at 12:15 am

I am a realtor and I can positively state that location is everything and what usually helps to make the location so great is the school. The schools don't have to be private schools I am referring to the public schools. I ahve cleints that absolutley will not purcahse a home if the schools are not highly rated whether thsy have children in school or not. They understand this will impact them when they go to sell their home in the future. Good schools mean better investment.

July 31, 2013 at 6:59 pm

I'd give up sq footage. To those of you who find this article all wrong, it's not. A lot, not all people need a good school district but think of the resale value! I can think of school districts I would not moved to when I was raising my kids. In the end you will be selling your home.

July 31, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Not everyone has children at home. so these statistics dont apply to the entire population! I prefer a home in a quiet remote place away from chaos!

July 31, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Didn't make sense. what I meant is people are being sold on our town because of schools, when I know personally it is not as it seems. Yes they are good, but there are problems with all school districts. Non are perfect.

July 31, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I live in what is called an upper town, people just can't wait to move it; pay top dollar; don't get much for it, and say its because of the schools. Well I have two girls and what is being said about the schools, really is not what people are people told. Yes schools are good, but there are problems everywhere. there are no perfect schools anywhere.

July 31, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Wow, Rob!! My kids go to public school in NJ and our district is wonderful. We have a very diverse student population, of which I would say 90% or more are AMERICANS. Our PTO is awesome. I would agree with the others...PARENTS THAT CARE MAKE A GOOD SCHOOL!! We have recently had an influx of lower income families from the inner cities, (as towns are legally forced to provide a certain % of homes in town to the disadvantaged), and things have gotten worse...but to say that all public schools are awful is an exaggeration.