Schools & the Homebuying Decision


Of all the local neighborhood amenities that can influence a buyer's decision to purchase a home, proximity to good quality schools is one of the most influential. According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 25% of home buyers listed school quality and 20% listed proximity to schools as deciding factors in their home purchase. 


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 a password.

schools and the homebuying decision

Schools an​d the Home Buying Decision

What Would a Home Buyer Give Up for a Good School? A Garage, for One (, Jul. 25, 2018)

Why You Need to Research School Districts When Buying a Home (Public School Review, Feb. 26, 2018)

3 Surprising Ways Public Schools Affect Your House Hunt (Home Towne Realty, Aug. 1, 2016)

No Kids? Here’s Why You Should Still Buy in a Good School District (Trulia, Sep. 9, 2015)

School Quality Has a Mighty Influence on Neighborhood Choice, Home Values (The Washington Post, Sep. 3, 2015)

Buying a House? If You Have (or Want) Kids, Consider the Schools (U.S. News & World Report, May 12, 2015)

Impact of Schools on Property Values

School Spending Raises Property Values (National Bureau of Economic Research)

How Much Do School Districts Affect Real Estate Prices? (®, Jun. 1, 2016)

What is the Connection Between Home Values and School Performance? (Public School Review, May 30, 2016)

9 Neighborhood Features That Hamper Values (REALTOR® Magazine, Mar. 27, 2016)

How Schools Can Impact Home Prices (Maximum Exposure Real Estate, Jan. 11, 2015)

Schools: What​ to Consider When Selecting a Home

What to Do When Your Dream Home Is in a Bad School District, According to an Education Expert (Forbes, Jun. 28, 2018)

Why We Chose the Worst School in the District (Root of Good, Jan. 26, 2015)

School Rankings Don't Tell You What You Need to Know (Greater Greater Washington, Jul. 18, 2012)

Public Schools — A Toolkit for REALTORS® (National Association of REALTORS®, 2012)

The School Visit: What to Look For, What to Ask (GreatSchools)

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.

Priva​te companies

A listing of private companies in the U.S. that provide reports on school districts is available on the Open Directory Project.

State and loca​l 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 (Kindle, 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 (Kindle, eBook)

Love Your Neighborhood (eBook)

Neighbors & Neighborhoods (Audiobook, eBook)

The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Home Buying Checklists (Kindle, eBook)

Tips & Traps When Buying a Home (Kindle, Audiobook, eBook)

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