Posted by: Kaplan Real Estate Education
Updated: January 15, 2019
The editorial piece below was originally published in the May issue of The St. Paul Voice. It was written by Toby Schifsky, National Director of Real Estate Education. It detailed his response as a real estate professional, to the questions he’s often asked whenever school district improvements are up for vote.
Conventional wisdom tells us there are many factors people use when determining where to buy a home. What is the number one factor for people selecting a new home? You don’t have to be a genius to figure this one out… location, location, location. But, what do I consistently see as the second greatest location factor for home buyers? Schools. The school district or even a specific school within a district can drive demand for a particular area. Ask any real estate agent you know and they will confirm that having strong schools and an overall strong district can affect home prices by as much as 10 percent over a neighboring district.
Don’t have kids of school age? Buying a home in a good school district is still smart. When the schools are desirable, homes tend to hold their value better in down markets and appreciate more in good times. A 1 percent, 2 percent, or even 3 percent difference in a home’s value can be thousands of dollars. I educate people all the time, “You need to look at supporting and maintaining a good school district much like you would the maintenance of the roof or siding on your house.” If not, both will significantly affect the value of your home.
Whenever a school levy comes up for a vote I am asked, “What do you think of the levy for school improvements?” My answer is “It seems like a pretty small investment to protect the value of my home.”