NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.
Schools and the Home Buying Decision
How to Handle Client Questions About Schools and Neighborhoods (REALTOR® Magazine, Jan. 3, 2023)
“To avoid inadvertently steering clients in one direction over another, real estate professionals can also offer resources—objective data from school board websites, for example”
What to Consider When Buying a Home Near a School—Do Your Homework! (realtor.com®, Jan. 21, 2020)
Pros and cons to think about when considering buying near a school.
What to do if Schools are Important in Your Home Search Handout (Texas REALTORS®, Jun. 18, 2019)
"How often do clients ask you about whether a property is located in a good school district? Fair housing laws prohibit you from steering clients, whether toward a particular area or away from that area, based upon the buyer’s race, color, religion, gender, disability, familial status, or national origin. That means you likely avoid giving opinions on school districts, because a comment could be construed as influencing clients’ housing choice based on demographic information.
So, although you may not be able to give your clients a direct answer to their question, there are resources you can share so buyers can make an informed decision without your input. Share this consumer handout from Texas REALTOR® magazine that explains how buyers can do their own research into schools."
2019 Moving with Kids Report (National Association of REALTORS®, 2019)
Fifty-three percent of buyers with children in the home under the age of 18 years said the quality of the school districts is an important factor when purchasing a home and 50% said convenience to schools.
Steering, Schools, and Equal Professional Service (National Association of REALTORS®, Jun. 9, 2014)
Discussions about schools can raise questions about steering if there is a correlation between the quality of the schools and neighborhood racial composition--or if characterizations such as “a school with low test scores” or “a community with declining schools” become code words for racial or other differences in the community. Similarly, making unspoken distinctions by promoting a school in one district while keeping silent about the quality of another school can have the same effect. These become fair housing issues.
Impact of Schools on Property Values
What is it with Real Estate Agents and Location? (The Balance, Sep. 26, 2021)
“Nearby attractions, scenic views, and schools are all factors that can drive up the value of a location.”
What is the Connection Between Home Values and School Performance? (Public School Review, Apr. 26, 2021)
“According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, there is a definite correlation between school expenditures and home values in any given neighborhood. A report titled, “Using Market Valuation to Assess Public School Spending,” found that for every dollar spent on public schools in a community, home values increased $20. These findings indicate that additional school expenditures may benefit everyone in the community, whether or not those residents actually have children in the local public school system.”
How Your Property Value is Affected by a Nearby School District (UpNest, Jan. 22, 2021)
“…school district is so important, one study suggests that people pay an average of $50 more per square foot for homes in top rated school districts. Homes and school districts that rank lower sell for a much lower price.”
School Quality Information on the Web
There are numerous sources on the Web offering data on schools and school districts. The reports they provide vary in detail and cost, but almost always have useful information for home buyers and REALTORS®. Many states and local areas also make their school district information available online. Websites of the state departments of education are a good start, along with those of local newspapers. The following are a few sample websites:
National Center for Education Statistics
Publishes information on all levels of education, from preschool to graduate school.
State and local sources
Many states and local areas also make their school district info available online. Websites of the state departments of education are a good start, along with those of local newspapers. For example:
- GreatSchools: Your community resource to find and share information about schools.
- Neighborhood Scout: Receive patented school ratings and other data.
- Private School Review: Learn about private schools, find schools, get admissions tips, and financial aid help.
- Project Appleseed: The national campaign for public school improvement.
- School Digger: Ranks schools on a 5-star system, and also shows rankings by test scores.
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
Community Builders: A Tale of Neighborhood Mobilization in Two Cities (eBook)
Community by Design: New Urbanism for Suburbs and Small Communities (eBook)
Community Conversations: Mobilizing the Ideas, Skills, and Passion of Community Organizations, Governments, Businesses, and People (eBook)
Defending Community: The Struggle for Alternative Redevelopment in Cedar-Riverside (eBook)
In The Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time (eBook)
Love Your Neighborhood (eBook)
Neighbors & Neighborhoods (Audiobook, eBook)
The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Home Buying Checklists (eBook)
Tips & Traps When Buying a Home (Audiobook, eBook)
Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.
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