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The Link Between Home Values + Schools—MA’s Top High Schools 2013

Saturday, June 01, 2013

 

Families look to buy homes in communities where they can take advantage of strong public schools, according to realtors.

They say, “Home is where the heart is,” but what about where the school is? The value of homes in Central Massachusetts relies heavily on the reputation of local public schools, says the Worcester Regional Association of Realtors (WRAR).

“It’s a proven factor, people pay more for your home when the school system is strong,” said RE/MAX realtor Tony Economou, of Worcester. “It’s a fact.”

Challenges in Worcester

Economou is a Worcester native who has put both of his own children through City of Worcester Public Schools. Though he is pleased with their education, he said some buyers are wary of aging school facilities. Does the condition of local school buildings deter buyers from purchasing homes in the area?

“It certainly makes them think twice,” he said.

WRAR 2012 Board President and Evergreen realtor Diane DeCiccio agreed. “There are a lot of [Worcester] schools that need a tremendous amount of work, physically,” she said. “Now that doesn’t mean it’s not a good school, but it is a factor.”

Prospective buyers gravitate towards Holden, Shrewsbury, Westborough, and Northborough - where facilities are newer. DeCiccio said “premium” home values in those towns directly relate to schools with positive reputations, like Westborough High School.

To see how Central Massachusetts schools performed in Top High Schools 2013, go here.

“People select the towns they want to look in based on the schools in their area,” said RE/MAX real estate agent Dave Stead, WRAR Board 2013 President Elect. “Holden is probably the most desirable market, they’ve had a lot of success with their schools.”

All buyers are doing their research

Region-wide, even buyers who do not intend to have children inquire about the local school system. “There’s a lot of attention to schools, whether they have kids or not,” said Stead. “They’re concerned with 7 years down the line, the resale value of the house.”

Chiropractor Jen Carlson and her husband looked at different parts of the Wachusett region, but gravitated toward Holden because they simply liked the town. The couple, who hopes to start a family in the near future, decided to look exclusively in Holden after researching the local schools.

“I went on the internet and went to the school district website, and saw all the programs that they offer,” Carlson said of Holden schools. “One of the things that I saw was the student-teacher ratio, which was about 14 students to one teacher, and I liked that.”

Buyers with families often go beyond the web, touring local schools themselves. “Go in there, take a look at the school,” encouraged DeCiccio. The presentation a school gives to parents is crucial.

“A lot of these schools sell themselves really well,” said Stead.

That’s important, because how well they sell themselves will likely determine how well realtors sell nearby homes.

What do parents ask about local schools?

According to Realtors, buyers most often ask about:

- Graduation rate
- The percentage of high school graduates who go on to college
- Student/teacher ratio
- Class size
- Technological resources
- Test Scores
- Extracurriculars
- Age of school facilities
- Word-of-mouth reputation

To see The Top High Schools in Massachusetts 2013, go here.

 

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