How to Find a Home in Your Preferred School District
If you have kids who are school-aged or about to be, you’re probably thinking about your school district. If there’s a particular school you want your kids to attend, you’ll probably need to live inside that district’s boundaries to make that happen—and for many, that means moving.
But don’t worry. Moving to a new home in the school district of your choosing doesn’t have to be difficult. Here’s how to get started.
Research school districts
If you’re not sure which school district is the right fit for your kids, there are several ways to find that information. You can start on sites like GreatSchools.org, which allows you to search by location, school type, grade level, rating, and more.
Are you the type to rely on personal experiences over internet reviews? Try talking to friends and acquaintances who have kids a little older than yours. Finding out what their experiences have been in their school districts can help you decide if it’s right for your household.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, make some visits to the potential schools. That will help you feel completely confident that you’re making the right choice for your kids. Then make a list of schools and districts in order of preference that you can revisit when you start home shopping.
Decide on a neighborhood
Once you’ve decided which school district is right for your household, it’s time to decide on a neighborhood. You can check out the boundary of your school district using GreatSchools.org’s school district map by entering your address (or the address of a home you’re interested in) and checking out the list of nearby schools. How do you decide on a neighborhood within your chosen school district? Here are some things to consider:
Homes in highly-desirable areas tend to be more expensive. You may need to weigh your budget against your preferred school district depending on how much you want to spend. That’s why it’s a good idea to make a list of schools in order of preference. If your #1 choice is outside of your budget, #2 could be a better option if it has more affordable home availability.
Your kids will likely spend a lot of time at school, but there are other important factors to consider when choosing a neighborhood. Consider which amenities are important for you and your household for when the kids aren’t in school, like nearby parks, libraries, stores, and more. Are you interested in athletic facilities like pools or tennis courts? What about restaurants and shopping centers? If your household has spiritual needs, consider those too. Proximity to the things your family spends the most time doing should also be a major factor when you’re deciding which neighborhood to choose.
If safety is a concern, you can look up any address on NeighborhoodScout.com to get crime rate information about the area.
Also consider other factors that influence the safety of younger kids, such as traffic and bodies of water.
List your current home
As soon as you’ve decided that you want to change locations, it’s time to list your home. This low-inventory market is favorable to sellers, but real estate timelines can be unpredictable—so give yourself as much time as possible to make your transition stress-free.
What’s the best way to list your home? Contact an expert local real estate agent to discuss your goals, and they can help you get started.
Start house hunting
You’ve listed your home and you have your must-have list, including that ideal location in the school district that’s right for your kids. Now it’s time to house hunt. What should you be looking for? These are some features that parents of school-aged kids love:
Top 4 home features for households with school-aged kids
An upsized home: A larger home provides more space and privacy for everyone. You’ll have more places for each member of your household to do work and homework as well as more room for play and rest.
A fenced yard: School-aged kids are typically starting to become a little more independent, so a fully fenced yard gives them the opportunity to play outdoors without you having to worry as much about safety.
Lots of built-in storage: Built-in storage provides dedicated spaces to store things, preventing clutter, messes, and the loss of important items.
Flex space: A flex space such as a rec room or multi-use office provides a place for you and your kids to do everything you want to do—including crafts and projects, games, gatherings with friends, and more