What it costs to live in Atlanta’s best school districts



One of the most important factors for many people looking for a new home is what school district that home is in. According to a realor.com survey, 73 percent of people who closed on a home within the last year said buying in a good school district was important and one-third said it was very important.

It is not just couples with children who are looking for homes in good school districts. There is also a correlation between a good school district and a good neighborhood. RE/MAX found that neighborhoods with schools are also safer, have better shopping and transportation and more public amenities like parks.

With these neighborhoods in high demand, the assumption is that buyers will need to break the bank to get a home. But RE/MAX Georgia looked at the current median home sales price for the communities that made Niche’s best school districts in the Atlanta area and found there are options for buyers at every price point.

The July median home sale price for the neighborhoods in the top 10 range from as low as $148,200 in Carrollton to $439,835 in Fayetteville. The No. 1 school district – Buford City Schools in Buford – had a median home sale price of $298,800, which is not significantly higher than the median home price of $278,000 reported by the Atlanta Realtors for July.

“The good news for buyers is that buying a home in a top district doesn’t have to break your budget. There are a wide variety of price points available,” said John Rainey, vice president, RE/MAX Georgia. “Buyers need to think long-term about their purchase and homes near good schools tend to hold their value, even in times when the housing market is slower.”

Kristen Jones, of RE/MAX Around Atlanta Realty, recommends agents and brokers look at not only the median sales price in an area but the number of homes that have been sold or listed in a price range to have a good idea of whether it is realistic for potential buyers to find a home in their price range in a neighborhood.

According to Jones, in the Buford City school district, there were 579 home sales in the last 12 months that were in the $250,000 to $299,999 range, while there were only 131 home sales in the highly desirable South Forsyth neighborhood. But in the $300,000 to $399,999 price range, there were 427 homes sold in South Forsyth.

She also recommends that buyers who are looking for homes in good school districts figure out beforehand their priorities to help with the process.

“The homebuying process is about compromises,” Jones says. “Unless you have an unlimited budget, you have to compromise on something: size, school district, the age of the home. So you have to be clear on your priorities.”

See the top 10 school districts below and the median home sales price for July:

Niche Ranking School District City July Median Home Sale Price
1 Buford City Schools Buford, Ga. $298,800
2 Forsyth County Schools Cumming, Ga. $354,611
3 Decatur City Schools Decatur, Ga. $262,500
4 Bremen City Schools Bremen, Ga. $154,000
5 Fayette County Public Schools Fayetteville, Ga $439,835
6 Carrollton City Schools Carrollton, Ga. $148,200
7 Cobb County Schools Marietta, Ga. $328,500
8 Cartersville City Schools Cartersville, Ga. $192,900
9 Cherokee County Schools Canton, Ga. $301,250
10 Gwinnett County Public Schools Lawrenceville, Ga. $238,000


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