Schools are a contributing factor for anyone buying a home. Even if you don’t have kids yourself, your next buyer might, and they might base their decision to buy on the school district which serves your home.
The question remains: How do you evaluate schools? What’s the best approach for understanding if your local schools will score your property an “A” or relegate it to the land of “D-”?
Luckily, there are some excellent resources out there for vetting schools online. Here are a few weI’ve come across which provide a good place to start:
Education.com: A major portal site for education everywhere, you’ll want to pay particular attention to the schools section, found here: http://www.education.com/topic/school-and-academics/
GreatSchools.org: A good search engine for researching schools, you can do zip code based searches and learn lots about the public and private institutions in the area.
ProjectAppleseed.com: A website dedicated to improving public schools, you can learn a lot here about the crucial elements of what makes a local school and excellent local school.
Finally, here are a handful of questions to ask yourself if you’re doing research:
How comprehensive is the school’s safety policy?
What social/support services are available at the school?
How does the school handle discipline?
Are people involved in a parent/teacher organization?
How healthy is the school district’s annual report?
Finally, be sure to ask your agent!