What Home Buyer Would Give Up for a Good School
The home’s garage, large backyard, and updated kitchen may not be as important to home shoppers as the school district, according to a new survey released by realtor.com® of more than 1,000 people who closed on a home in 2018. Seventy-eight percent of buyers surveyed say they’re willing to give up home features to get their school district of choice, and home shoppers are willing to give up their most desired home features to get that.
“A garage is great, but it’s not critical,” “Most buyers understand that they may not be able to find a home that covers every single item on their wish list.” “But our survey shows that school districts are an area where many buyers aren’t willing to compromise. For many buyers, ‘location, location, location,’ means ‘schools, schools, schools.’”
The extent of compromises that buyers are willing to make to get their top-choice schools may be surprising too. 'You can rent storage and you can build storage, but you can’t change the school district, the composition of the town, or the [local] taxes.”
Many home buyers these days are willing to sacrifice square footage and other amenities to afford a house in a well-respected school system. A recent realtor.com® survey of people who closed on a home this year found that 73% said buying in a good school district was “important” in their search.
Of those, 39% said school districts were “very important.” Meanwhile, only 18% of those surveyed said school districts were “unimportant” or “very unimportant.” Nine percent were neutral on the question. Harris Research conducted the survey of more than 1,000 respondents this month.
Of the home buyers who considered schools important, 78% reported that they had to make compromises when they purchased a house. The features most commonly given up were garages (19%), large backyards (18%), updated kitchens (17%), bedrooms (17%), and outdoor living areas (16%).
Younger home buyers are more concerned with strong school districts than with nonessential amenities. With home prices at record highs, they plan to stay in their homes for longer periods, so they have time to renovate their kitchens or build additions, she said.
“Location can’t be changed, but a property can remodeled, updated, or adjusted,' More home buyers are using online tools, social media sites, and their friends’ recommendations to find homes in good school districts. Not surprisingly, home buyers with children focused more on school districts. The survey found 91% of buyers with children said good school districts were “important” or “very important.”
Younger home buyers were more likely to say school districts were important in their search. Eighty-six percent of 18- to 34-year-old respondents and 84% of those aged 35 to 54 said schools were “important.” For those 55 and older, that ped to 37%, with more than half saying schools were “unimportant” or “very unimportant.”
“You can live like a king for $300,000 or $400,000 in a modern house on an acre on a cul-de-sac,” But customers are willing to pay $500,000 for a smaller, older house in a public school district with a better reputation, rather than enrolling their children in private schools.
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