A listing’s garage, large backyard and updated kitchen may not be as important to home shoppers as the school district, according to a new survey released by realtor.com of more than 1,000 people who closed on a home in 2018.
A full 78 percent of buyers say they’re willing to give up home features to get their school district of choice, and home shoppers are willing to give up their most-desired home features to be in a good school district.
“Most buyers understand that they may not be able to find a home that covers every single item on their wish list,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com. “But our survey shows that school districts are an area where many buyers aren’t willing to compromise. For many buyers, ‘location, location, location,’ means ‘schools, schools, schools.'”
The compromises buyers are willing to make to get into top-choice schools may be surprising too. For example, 78 percent of buyers who said schools were important in their house hunt said they had to compromise on home features, and the ones they most commonly reported giving up were:
Garage (19 percent)
Large backyard (18 percent)
Updated kitchen (17 percent)
Desired number of bedrooms (17 percent)
Outdoor living area (16 percent)
A spring homebuyer survey conducted by realtor.com found that a garage was the number one feature that home buyers were looking for this year, followed by an updated kitchen and an open floor plan.
Not surprising, the desire for particular schools did vary by a buyer’s life stage and age. Ninety-one percent of buyers with children said school boundaries are important or very important compared to 34 percent of those without children.
Buyers surveyed said they determined the school district they wanted to live in by looking at schools’ test scores, followed by the availability of accelerated programs, arts and music, diversity, and before- and after-school programs. Realtor.com offers a tool through its site’s search to specify a district or school boundary so buyers can search for homes within that preferred area.
Source: “Home Buyers Forgo Garages for School Districts,” realtor.com(R) (July 24, 2018)
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