How to find the perfect home for you and your budget series! I’m so glad you’re here. This series will help you find the right home that won’t go over what you want to spend on a monthly mortgage (which may be lower than the amount that you are pre-approved for!) You’ll learn all about what to look for in a home to make sure it matches you need, lifestyle and budget, and be able to avoid buyers remorse along the way.
Before you do much research schools in your area, decide how important it is to you. For many first-time homebuyers it does matter, but for others its a criteria that can easily be thrown out.
Homes in certain school districts can sell for a steeper price point. If you have children attending those schools, it may be worth it to you!
Some things to keep in mind:
- Agents can’t give their opinion.
Decisions about school preferences are entirely up to you. The Fair Housing Act restricts me from sharing my opinions about schools, crime rates, and other factors that may inadvertently steer a buyer into or away from a neighborhood. As a buyer, you have total freedom in deciding where you want to live. Make sure you do your research and set what boundaries you want and let me know where you are searching for a home. I will be at your side helping you find the best home for your needs and budget.
- Research the school districts.
There are many ways to decide if a particular school or school district measures up. Aside from actually visiting the school, reviewing test scores, graduation rates, and teacher-to-student ratios, Greatschools.org is a popular tool.
Try asking friends, or using online community platforms like a neighborhood facebook group, or get the Nextdoor app! Online ratings don’t always show the complete picture about a particular school or school district, and you should seek out other feedback too. While speaking with others don’t forget that what you want in a school may not be what’s important to the person you are speaking with. You know what is best for your family.
- Location, Location, Location.
The only thing you can’t change about a house is location. When searching for a house that’s in a good school district, the location should be your focus. School districts are often set in stone so you need to find a house in that zone if you’re certain it’s the right fit for your child. This may require some sacrifice to find a home that’s in the right school district and has the other amenities you want.
Makes sure that you also consider other impacts on your life, like your commute time, property taxes and overall housing affordability.
- Don’t forget to confirm school boundary lines. Always call the school administration yourself to find out what are the school boundaries and if your home’s location is within a certain parameter. You should verify this information since it’s not always obvious or could be listed incorrectly by the seller. Boundary lines do change from time to time … so always double check!
- Considering the future resale value
When it comes to resale value, investing in a home in a “good” school district can pay off. Homes in good school districts tend to sell faster than homes in lower-quality school districts. Another thing to keep in mind is that homes in better school districts usually hold their value more than homes in lower-quality school districts during tougher economic times.
It’s not all roses though… homes in better school districts also tend to be more expensive. Not only will the purchase price of the home tread a little higher, buyers will likely pay higher property taxes. A large portion of that property tax money will be allotted right back to the schools. For buyers without children, that’s no bargain.
Don’t miss next week’s article in my Find the Perfect Home for You and Your Budget series, which will be all about buying an “as-is home!
I'm McCall Carter and I love helping first time home buyers make their first home more affordable and I love helping sellers looking to move up to their forever home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true.
2901 Ashton Blvd. #102
Lehi, UT 84043
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