How to Find the Best Home in the Best School District

07 Jul
Finding the best home in the best school district.

Finding the best home in the best school district just got easier. 

Moving to a new town is always difficult, but that challenge becomes even more complicated when you have school age children. In addition to factoring in commute times, your budget, and what part of your new town you want to live in you also need to research school options and find the best school district for your kids.

Choosing a school is never fun but there are a few strategies that can make the decision a bit easier:

Talk to Your Real Estate Agent

If you are moving to a completely new part of the country or a city you are unfamiliar with, your first conversation should be with your real estate agent. They will be an expert on local neighborhoods as well as the various school options, both public and private.

Deciding on a school district is often one of the first decisions you will need to make if your children will be attending a public school. If you have a particular school you want your children to attend, you will need to shop for a home within that school district. This may limit your choices when it comes to shopping for a new home.

It is always a good idea to call the school and verify that the school district boundaries are not going to change in the near future as they can change from time to time and you would hate to purchase a house only to find you now fall in a different school district.

If your children are headed to a private school, you can live in any area you want, as you won’t need to worry about being in a specific school district.

Have a detailed conversation with your real estate agent about the various schools and districts in the city that you are moving to and then head back home to do some research.

Do Your Research

Once you have the lay of the land when it comes to school districts, its time to dig in and do some research. There are plenty of resources online that can help you narrow down your choices and find the school that is best for your family. Here a just a few places to check:

  • National Center for Education Statistics: This is a government run website that will provide details about the various schools in your district as well as enrollment data for each particular school. Testing data is also available at this site.
  • This site is a national non-profit company that consolidates data for schools across the country and also allows parents and students to write reviews of their particular experience at the school. Schools are given a rating that is based on test scores, extra curricular activities and reviews. This site compiles a lot of detailed information in one site making it easy to compare schools.
  • This is another comparison website that allows you to look at school data and compare other schools in the district or town.

Review the data carefully looking at what is important to you, whether it be teacher to student ratios, test scores or parent reviews. Once you have narrowed your choices down it’s time to start visiting schools.

Visit The School

Now that you have narrowed down your school choices you should take a tour of the school and meet with potential teachers, administration staff as well as the principal.

Take your children with you on the visit to make sure they like the school, teachers and classrooms. Meet with the teachers at your child’s grade level as well as the principal. Here are a few questions you may want to ask:

  • How do the test scores at this school compare to other schools in the district?
  • What percentage of students are performing at grade level?
  • What is being done to support students falling below grade level?
  • How is technology used to enhance learning?
  • Are AP courses available?
  • What extracurricular activities are available?

Be sure to discuss any entrance requirements or waiting lists. You don’t want to decide on a school and then find out they have a multi-year waiting list.

Find a House

In many cases the hard part is just starting. Finding the perfect school is just the beginning, now you have to find a house that falls into that school district if you have chosen a public school.

While your realtor will be a huge help, you can also research options using a variety of home shopping sites. Here are just a couple to consider:

  • This site allows you to search by school district and also lists out the schools that are close to each house you look at as well the rating for that school. This allows you to only look at homes that fall within your chosen district.
  • This site offers the same information but without the rankings. It makes it easy to search for homes that only fall within your chosen school district.

It is important to remember that in most cases, high-ranking school districts will have higher home costs. Be sure to choose a school district where you can actually afford a home.

One other thing to consider when shopping for a home is the cost of homeowners insurance. Always get a quote before purchasing a home so there are no surprises when it comes time to insure your property.

Here are a few tips for keeping your homeowners insurance affordable:

  • Shop Around: This is the best way to lower your insurance costs. Insurance companies rate risk differently so premium quotes can vary dramatically. Shop at least five to ten insurance companies to get the best price. Get Multiple Homeowners Insurance Quotes Now!
  • Discounts: Insurance companies offer a variety of home insurance discounts and they can dramatically lower your insurance costs. Bundling, alarm systems and upgraded roofing materials will all result in a discount.
  • Raise Your Deductible: The higher your deductible, the lower your premium will be. Put your deductible as high as you can reasonably afford. However, always make sure you can afford the deductible in the event you need to make a claim.

If you are moving, we offer great discounts for new home purchases, please consider and let us help you shop the most affordable homeowners insurance rates online.

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