Should You Choose A Home That’s Near A Great School District?
If you’re planning on buying a home in Austin Texas, or else were in the United States, one of the first things that you should be searching for a is a home that’s in a great school district.
This is an important piece of advice because of the simple fact that even in the worst of times, people are still always going to be purchasing homes and if the home buyers have children, they are going to want to buy a home in a great school district.
How to Choose A Home That’s in A Great School District
Create a checklist of the qualities and values that are important to you and your child’s education
If you consider a good school district as one of the major factors in your home-buying decision, contemplating what values matter to you most when it comes to your child’s education is also relevant. A school will be your child’s second home, so you might want to be clear about your preferences. Do you prefer a traditional or an alternative style of learning? How important are extracurricular and skill enhancement activities to you and your child’s development? What are your child’s skills, strengths and weaknesses, and how can these be improved? What sort of contributions are you willing to make to improve your child’s learning? These are just some of the questions you have to ask yourself so you can be clear about the kind of school you want your children to be in.
Do your online research
Most schools and school districts have their respective websites where anyone can get extensive information. Spend some time checking the sites of each school you’re considering and read parent and local reviews. Also check out other resources that provide valuable information, such as GreatSchools, NeighborhoodScout, the National Center for Education Statistics, and others. Take time reading downloadable school newsletters and calendars to familiarize yourself with the local news and events. It is also worth looking at some of the following information:
- Standardized test scores
- The curriculum being offered
- The latest rate of students attending higher education
- Awards and certifications the school has recently received
- Student-to-teacher ratio
- The educational attainment of most teachers
- Languages offered; and
- Any specialized programs for gifted or needy student
- Ask your local real estate agent
Your experienced local real estate agent can be one of your best resources in knowing the local market. He/She should have a good understanding of which school districts are top-quality and which are less desirable and could provide you with an objective opinion of the schools. Consider your realtor’s recommendations, and then verify other information you gathered before weighing the pros and cons.
Use your network to get more insight
Whether you’re searching for a new home in the next street or heading into a completely new neighborood, your network of family and friends could be helpful in your quest to find a good school district. They may have some knowledge of a particular school district that you still don’t know about, or they may also have encountered that school you’re considering during their house-hunting.
Either way, you can reach out to those people you know (and trust) and ask for their advice about a particular area and school. You may also utilize your social media accounts by posting on Facebook and on trusted community groups and pages to find out if people have any experience or insight to share. It will be worthwhile if one of your networks has a friend who’s a teacher or a school staff member who can give you an insider’s perspective, which could be more valuable than online information. At the end of day, it wouldn’t hurt to ask!
Talk to parents whose children already attend the school system
You may have done your online research about particular schools and their reputation, but hearing the personal experience of local parents whose children already attend the school system is more valuable. Speaking to them can give you a general understanding of what it is really like learning from a specific school, and whether their children attend any great after-school programs or individualized education programs that will also be beneficial for your children.
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