Mortgage Blog

Finding Affordable Homes and The Best Schools

Home Shopping

Real estate data tracking firm RealtyTrac has a new report out with a unique look at the market for potential homebuyers analyzing two of the most important factors buyers consider: schools and price.  First, researchers looked at school test scores for close to 27,000 U.S. students in more than 7,200 locations (by zip codes) to find the top school districts in the nation.  Second, RealtyTrac paired the zip codes with at least one "good" school (1,823) with home price data to determine how affordable these desirable locations really are.

 Overall, the median price for a home in a neighborhood with a premier school is $411,573, and for zip codes without a good school, the average prices is just $210,662.  Further, RealtyTrac found that 65% of these good school zip codes are unaffordable (spending more than one-third of income on housing) for the household with an average income.

So where does that leave the average homebuyer?  Where is the best bargain for a family determined to put their children in a great school?  Well, instead of housing hunting in Atherton, CA, where the median home price is just north of $6 million, RealtyTrac suggests looking closer to Chicago, IL.  The average home price for a home in Harvey, IL is just $21,000, with at least one top-performing school in the district.  Other affordable locations with good schools include:

Detroit, MI (average price: $23,753)
Louisville, KY ($22,000)
Baton Rouge, LA ($32,000)
Buffalo, NY ($36,000)
Dallas, TX ($88,631)

The upshot for homebuyers looking in these and other affordable locations with great schools?  Be active and prepared to act quickly when homes become available.  A great way to be in position is act is to get pre-approved by your lender so you know how much home you can afford before you find your dream home.  Click here to read more; click here for the full report.