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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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July 31, 2013 at 11:09 am

so what about people who do NOT have kids and want to buy a house or maybe an older couple that are downsizing and schools are definitely not a big deal - there are many of us in this boat buying homes too!! so for this buyer , which I am one, I'm looking to have less space, less cleaning and more time to do other stuff than I did for years with kids, I want to be in a safe area, but could care less about what school i'm near -low maintenance and easy to manage and take care of are the biggies for me - nice yard for my doggies -

July 31, 2013 at 9:59 am

Rob Adkins, America, itself, is loaded with "non-americans".

This article true, in some ways, but not 100% accurate. I am an appraiser, and school choice is not always a major factor.

Many times, the schools are better, in a particular area, because the people who live near the school have pride in the things they have. Therefore, the school is good because of the parent involvement.

The schools near the projects, are not any worse than the ones near the suburbs. The schools are worse because many of the people who live in or near the projects have little pride in the things they have.

Margaret Wilson
July 31, 2013 at 9:04 am

I live in Lee County Florida. It does not matter what neighbor hood you choose to purchase a home. We have school choice. Which is not much of a choice. You put your children's name in for your first choice of schools. Then they decide which school your child will attend. You could live 5 miles from the school you want your child to attend, and they will give you a school 45 minutes away. That is how messed up Lee county Florida is. You live in Zones not neighbor hoods.

Gail Kibler
July 31, 2013 at 5:37 am

I believe it is a personal preference. Lots of people in Bucks County move to better areas for better schools. However, our 2 young adults did wonderful in public school! Basically, as a parent, one has to have expectations that your children will do well. Be involved in your schools and have consequences to your child(ren)'s behavior. Finally, get to know your child's friends as well. Our young adults went to Bensalem High School, which is a public school.

July 31, 2013 at 5:26 am

Sorry, i forgot the rest of my ranr. I could have lived anywhere i wished, but we chose to live in the sierra foot hills, it takes 25 min. one way to go shopping. but it is all worth it.

July 31, 2013 at 5:12 am

I gave up the top three things on the list, plus i had a 160 mile round trip to work 5 days a week. I didnt mind, my daughters were able to go to good schools (No. Cal.) and, they both graduated with a 4.0, the went on to one of the best private collages! To Dot and rob adkins your english and spelling is really bad, anyone can tell you are un-educated, try reading insted of commeting! I didnt graduate, i went to VietNamm and when i got back i had to start working! I do know the value of Good Schools,I got a Union job making eighty grand a year, plus bennies.

Joanne Jones
July 31, 2013 at 1:35 am

Are you the Rob Adkins who was a supervisor at Boeing and had the Utilities group? I am Joanne (formerly Joanne Rubin) who used to work for you
I sell real estate now and the educated buyers with children are very interested in the school district their children will be attending. Most good schools have great parent participation in the PTA and they love their children and KNOW WHERE THEY ARE ALL THE TIME.
Joanne Jones

Chris Riley
July 31, 2013 at 1:30 am

I live in Howard County Maryland. We have one of the highest if not the highest rated public school systems in the country. That being said, I feel compelled to add that we also have one of the highest tax rates in the country as well. Our county is highly diversified with a significant portion of the residents originally from other countries. Many homeowners, myself included, considered the school system over other counties when house hunting. I would say that most of the student's success largely depends on the parents support including their levels of education and ability to provide tutoring when needed. I firmly believe that the private schools are better apt at preparing high school graduates for college level education than public schools. Charter schools have been hugely successful, check out New Orleans post Katrina.

July 31, 2013 at 12:30 am

I have live in A few places and not one public school is good they are all alike! What good school, we dont have any! Would you pay more for a home because of school-district boundaries no!
desired school district you have to be kidding thats just a dream in my opinion!

rob adkins
July 29, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Are you kidding me only people that will do that are folks that did not go to school there self or did not complete school, thats a ridicules concept only non-americans would fall for this american kids don't go to public schools anymore so all this so called taxe money for schools goes to schools with only non-american kids, I am totally against that, and you need to stop lying to people because american homeowners want to live away from schools that are loaded with non-american kids so get your facts right!