Atlanta Agent (AA): What are some of Metro Atlanta’s top school districts?
Jeanette Schneider (JS): Buying a home near a top school district is almost always at the top of buyer wish lists. In fact, a 2015 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study shows that buyers with school age children (those 34 and younger and those 35 to 49) rank quality of school district among the top five characteristics they consider when looking for a home.
When a buyer asks our advice on school districts, we generally point them to sites like GreatSchools.com or SchoolDigger.com, which provide lists of top schools based on a variety of factors. U.S. News & World Report is another great resource – they provide an annual ranking of the top high schools throughout each state and metro area.
AA: How influential are good schools on a home’s value?
JS: Good schools absolutely impact a home’s value. Supply and demand comes into play in those scenarios. High demand for anything drives prices up. In today’s competitive market, there is a finite number of homes available in any school district. When a school comes out as high-ranking on a list, demand for the limited supply of homes in that district rises even higher, and by nature prices rise.
Add to the mix that higher priced homes, by extension, yield higher local property and school taxes, allowing those communities to continue to invest in quality schools and community improvements. All of those factors work together to create a desirable community that will be in demand and positively impact home values.
AA: Homes in good school districts are often quite pricey; are there any affordable markets in Metro Atlanta that also have top-notch schools?
JS: Yes! In fact, RE/MAX of Georgia recently conducted an analysis of home sales served by the top public high schools in Metro Atlanta. The rankings were according to U.S. News & World Report. We identified several communities with homes that are relatively affordable. These include: Decatur, home to Decatur High School, which has a median home sale price of $192,695; Duluth, home to North View High School, which has a median home sale price of $285,000; and Marietta, home to Walton High School, with a median sale price of $288,500.
Those are three well-established communities that offer a high quality of life for residents, excellent schools and overall value for buyers.