Page 2 of 2
Tempted to pay more for a house just for a better school? Consider these issues:
Do you love the school — or its test scores? Do your homework.
Will you be happy in the community? If parents don’t feel at home, it’s hard on the kids too.
Can you really afford the house? Foreclosure probably trumps the trauma of a mediocre school!
Calculate your priorities: Do your children need their own bathroom or a great teacher?
Private school tuition cannot be written off taxes, but property taxes and mortgage interest can.
Homes can be leveraged for equity lines to pay for college, so they may provide important financial support for future educational costs.
By Carol Lloyd
Other parents report happier outcomes after buying into highly acclaimed school districts. Julie Rebboah, a teacher and the author of Magic Letters: The Keys to the World of Words, placed a high priority on finding the right schools for her two children. But when she and her husband ran the numbers, they realized they could neither buy in the San Francisco Bay Area in a good school district nor foot the bill for private school tuition. Instead, they decided to move out of the state — to the high-performing Lake Oswego School District in Oregon. “Our son is flourishing here, and our house payments are lower than in California,” she explains. “For our family, it was the right decision.”
When Kelly Utt-Grubb opted to homeschool her two young children instead of placing them in a local public school in Buford, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, she realized the search for the right school trumped all else, including homeownership. After carefully researching schools in numerous areas, she and her husband decided on Cary, N.C. They sold their home at a loss, became renters, and never looked back.
“We carefully researched Cary and the educational environment that goes along with living near the Research Triangle Park area of Raleigh-Durham,” Utt-Grubb says. “We also chose the specific elementary school my kids go to (Carpenter Elementary in Cary) and even moved into a rental house that is right behind the school.”
For parents searching for both a home and a school at the same time, it’s worth attempting to crunch the numbers and analyze your choices.
Would you spend $50K simply for access to better schools — how about $100K or even $200K? Should you buy, say, a smaller home in a better school district to fend off private school bills? (And will it break the bank if your public school turns out to be a disappointment?) Would you trade in one version of the American dream (buying a home) for another (giving your children a better education than you had and renting a small apartment near a better school)?
Finally, it’s also worth remembering that if this anxious game of calculation and compromise feels stressful, you aren’t alone. Parents across the country are engaged in the same number-crunching madness, balancing the third bedroom against that school with the special science program. In the end, each family makes their choice based on dozens of factors — unique to their situation, values, and finances. The important thing for parents to remember is that when it comes to buying a new home, sometimes the biggest amenities are invisible: your child’s education.
Sign up for our free newsletter and we'll send you
more just like it every week.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.