Finding the right school district can be an important part of your new home search. Whether you’re planning to start a family, a parent looking for the best education for your children or a savvy house hunter with resale in mind, an attractive school district may be one of your top wish list items as you shop. So, what steps do you need to take in your research process? Read on to learn how to search for homes by school district.
Identify the neighborhood school district/school
When you’re considering a home for sale that you’ve found on a website like Redfin, Trulia and Zillow, be sure to verify that the school listed on the page is in fact the school your child would attend. Many times, websites list the closest school and may not keep track of the actual school boundary lines set by the districts.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a new home, call or check with the sales center when you visit. Local sales associates will likely have more insight into the school choices in the area. If you’re considering a Richmond American home, a New Home Specialist can also help you search for homes by school district. Call 888.799.8322 today to get started!
Check out school rating sites
If you’re having trouble narrowing down your home search to a specific part of town, you may want to start with this step! On a national level, you can compare school districts and schools on GreatSchools.org. According to its website, GreatSchools rates schools on a 1 to 10 scale based on “four ratings, each of which is designed to show different facets of school success: the Student Progress Rating or Academic Progress Rating, College Readiness Rating, Equity Rating and Test Score Rating.” Beyond the numbers, you can also see reviews from parents. SchoolDigger.com and Niche.com both provide a similar experience.
Additionally, a quick internet search should yield web addresses for most schools and school districts. These websites can offer additional insights into class size, student-to-teacher ratio, curriculum, grading systems, test scores, activities, clubs, yearly calendars and more.
Visit the school(s) you’re considering
If you’re in the neighborhood touring, try stopping by the schools in the area. This is perhaps the best way to get a feel for the school culture. Does the campus feel secure? How are you greeted in the office? Which sports teams and other extracurricular activities do they offer? Ask the office staff if you can set up a tour and/or if they know of any parents who may be willing to speak with you.
Chat with your real estate agent
Experienced real estate agents typically have a wealth of knowledge about the communities they serve, including which schools could be a good fit for your star student(s). So, if you are working with a broker, be sure to ask them for neighborhood recommendations based on schools that meet your criteria.
Talk to parents and students
Do you know anyone who has children at any of the schools you are considering? Maybe a friend of a friend? Set up a coffee date. Or try asking parents at nearby playgrounds and parks what their experience has been. This will give you a unique perspective that the ratings and scores won’t be able to tell you.
Check out these additional resources for parents and guardians of school-aged children:
- Why Great Schools Matter (Even if You’re Not a Parent)
- Helping Your Child Adjust to a New School
- Back to School: Easy One-pan Dinner Recipes
- Back-to-School Organizing Tips
Find the right home and school district today! Go to RichmondAmerican.com to start your search.
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