When reading home listings online, you often see mention of school zones and access to quality schools. In general, parents want to live in neighborhoods that allow their children to attend the best schools. However, schools zone impact far more buyer decisions than just parents. In fact, there are a whole other markets of buyers who either are drawn to certain school zones or are weary of being too close to a school. In this article, we explore different buyers and their perspective on schools zones.
How School Zones Impact Home Buyers
- Parents with School-Age Children – This is the most obvious and usually who real estate agents are targeting when the talk about quality schools, walking distance to schools, or convenient bus routes to highly sought-out magnet or charter schools. It is not uncommon for families to stretch their budgets to buy a home in neighborhoods with great schools.
- Sports – Similarly, families have been known to move to neighborhoods that grant access to a schools with specific sports teams. Parents of an all-star may want to ensure the best sport team experience and even place their child where they will have best visibility by college scouts.
- Child Care Providers – Whether grandparents, certified childcare providers working out of a private home, or commercial day-care owners, these buyers will seek out properties very close to schools for the grades of children that they target. This may be mean targeting school zones with elementary schools rather than being closer to high schools. Of course, teachers, school administrators, and school staff may also chose to live close by and have a short, easy commute to work.
- Commuters – In some states the car lanes to access schools extend onto city roads. During drop-off and pick-up times, these roads can become congested for more than an hour. Commuters who need to use these road to get to work, but do not have children attending school, will often look for homes that do not require driving through these slow traffic areas.
- Quiet Homeowners – Homeowners who are seeking a quiet neighborhood, especially during schools hours tend to avoid homes near schools or parks. While hearing a child laugh may be endearing to some, hearing the roar of 100+ students at recess and lunch may be unbearable to some homeowners.
- Taxes – In some communities around the United States, the quality and popularity of schools drive up property values and property taxes. Homeowners without school-age children may not feel the value of such high taxes and relocate to areas where school zones don’t carry such a high premium.
- Storm Shelter – Storm coverage in the news has highlighted the role of schools as shelters and safe places for communities vulnerable to severe weather. For some homeowners, proximity and safe access to schools that double as shelters are an important factor when buying a home. This especially true for homeowners with pets who need access to shelters that accept animals.
School Zones Affect Lots of Different Buyers
Many factors contribute to choosing one neighborhood over another. Schools zones often are a main factor in the decision making process. While it’s instinctive to think that parents with school-age children will focus on school zones when buying a home, it is also true that non-parents will consider school zones and school location when making a home buying decision.