How Much More Will It Cost To Live Near The Best Schools?

Real Estate Appraiser with PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy

In a survey taken by Redfin, they found some shocking results regarding how much it costs to buy a home near the best schools.  The information gathered concentrated on elementary schools specifically.

School districts and the schools themselves are two large considerations when home buyers have children or are beginning a family.

Tommy Unger, a Redfin senior data analyst stated, "When you're thinking about that first home, you're thinking about elementary schools.  Education and schools is something that every parent pays attention to. That also means we tend to want the best."

Out of 1000 perspective home buyers, Redfin tells us that half of those buyers would gladly pay up to 20% more to live in premium school districts.  The question becomes; is 20% more enough here in the greater Chicago metro area?

The median price for homes in top school districts was $257,500 versus a median price of $162,500 in average school districts.  The difference is more than 58%.  So, to answer the question that many home buyers were floored by, is no, 20% more isn’t going to get you into a premium school district. 


Redfin surveyed like single family homes sold from May 1, 2013 through August 31, 2013 in the same neighborhoods but different school districts.  These homes were also listed with multiple listing services and were in a period where prices were definitely in recovery.  After analyzing the data they were able to calculate a national average.  The national average is $50 per square foot more to live in premium school districts.

home prices near best schools

Supporting statistics on the top schools in the country and test scores, based on 2012 results, were provided by Onboard Informatics, Maponics LLC and GreatSchools.

Unger shared, "I was expecting thousands of dollars difference, not tens of thousands.  I didn't expect the consistency across the nation, no matter where it was."

Getting back to Chicago, Redfin compared this market to others and determined a nearly 60% higher price in top school districts, that was still considered a good deal.  The top school districts in Miami and Phoenix were double in price to those in average school districts.


Information on schools and the districts they are in has rapidly become a vital aspect of many of the leading real estate websites and apps, including Trulia, Zillow, and of course Redfin.


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