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October 2018

Realtor.com survey underscores importance of schools to homebuyers

Value of Schools study (link)Schools are sacrosanct for most house-hunters, according to a survey by realtor.com.

Seventy-eight percent of buyers who currently live in their preferred school district had to compromise to get there. An even larger number of buyers with children - 91 percent - said that school boundaries were important or very important. By contrast, only about a third (34 percent) of those without children indicated school boundaries were important or very important.

Realtor.com surveyed 1,000 people in July who closed on a home earlier this year. "While buyers understand that they're going to have to make some compromises to find a home in today's market, schools remain non-negotiable on their home wish list."

Survey respondents were asked about features they would forgo in order to live in their preferred school district. Topping the list was a garage, with 19 percent saying they would give up that amenity. Other features they named were a large backyard (18 percent), an updated kitchen (17 percent), desired number of bedrooms (17 percent), and an outdoor living area (16 percent).

Researchers noted the desire for particular schools varied significantly by life stage and age. While school boundaries were important or very important to a preponderance of successful buyers with children (91 percent), only 34 percent of buyers without children rated them similarly.

Eighty-four percent of those between 35 and 54 years old, and slightly more (86 percent) of those 18-34 years old, indicated school boundaries were important, compared to 37 percent of buyers 55-plus. More than half of older buyers 55-plus said school boundaries were unimportant or very unimportant.