For prospective home buyers, just when you thought you were finished with school for good, turns out that nearby schools will still have an impact on your life. Even if you don’t have children, neighborhood school ratings are important to know; they have a significant impact on home values.
Fetching Top Dollar
A 2017 Public School Review article states that home values can swing from $50,000 to $300,000 solely based on the neighborhood’s school rating. Parents are highly motivated by ensuring the best possible education for their children, and if they have the means, they are willing to pay a premium to move to the right school district.
As a matter of fact, according to a 2013 realtor.com survey, the majority of homeowners (3 out of 5) said school boundaries would impact their home purchasing decision. Of those, 30% would be willing to pay anywhere from 6% to 20% above their budget for higher school ratings (consider this: if an average home price is $500,000 in the area, some of these homeowners would be willing to pay an additional $100,000 simply for a better school). An additional 24% would be willing to pay between 1 and 5% above budget. And many of these school-sensitive buyers also stated that they would be willing to give up amenities such as a pool, accessibility to shopping or parks, or a bonus room in exchange for a better school.
In 1982, the Department of Education established a nationwide ranking system whereby they offer a ‘blue ribbon’ to schools whose students have demonstrated high performance on standardized tests (top 15%), or who have demonstrated significant improvement in test scores over the past 5 years.
Over the last few years, several independent state and nationwide school ranking systems have also developed. One of the more thorough independent nationwide ranking systems is Niche.com, which incorporates both analysis and actual reviews from students and parents.
Top School Districts:
The following South Orange County school districts have been recognized by Niche.com as ranking in the top 50 of 474 school districts in California, and received an “A-” or more on the Niche.com “report card”. The report card incorporates 10 key factors including academics, college prep, teachers, sports and facilities.
- Laguna Beach: the Laguna Beach Unified School district was ranked #25, with an overall grade of “A” on its report card.
- San Juan Capistrano: The Capistrano Unified School District was ranked as the #37, receiving an overall “A” on its report card
- Mission Viejo: The Saddleback Valley Unified School District was ranked as #55, and received an overall “A-” on its report card.
National Blue Ribbon schools are generally well-regarded, and these Blue Ribbon South Orange County schools are actually within the 3 highly ranked school districts identified by Niche.com.
The following 7 South Orange County schools have received a blue ribbon in the past 15 years:
- Laguna Beach: Laguna Beach High School, received in 2008 (Laguna Beach Unified School District)
- Laguna Hills: Valencia Elementary School, received in 2004 (Saddleback Valley Unified School District)
- Dana Point: Richard Henry Dana Elementary School, received in 2010 (Capistrano Unified School District)
- Mission Viejo: Bathgate Elementary School, received in 2003 (Capistrano Unified School District)
- Mission Viejo: Foothill Ranch Elementary School, received in 2006 (Saddleback Valley Unified School District)
- Mission Viejo: La Paz Intermediate, received 2004 (Saddleback Valley Unified School District)
- Rancho Santa Margarita: Melinda Heights Elementary School, received in 2005 (Saddleback Valley Unified School District)
If you already own a home zoned for one of the top 7 South Orange County public schools, the good news is that you may be able to sell your home at a premium. On the other hand, if you are looking to buy in one of those neighborhoods, the prices may run a bit higher, but your new home it is likely to maintain its value.
Whether you are buying or selling, our team of experts in the San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Niguel, and Dana Point areas can help you accomplish your goals. Feel free to give The Reed Team a call at 949-392-6400.