Realtor.com recently did an analysis of the most expensive neighborhoods within a mile of public schools and, unsurprisingly, found that people are willing to pay a premium in order to be within walking distance of the best schools.
Great schools are one of the primary factors that many young families look at when considering a new home, along with proximity to work and family-friendly amenities like parks. While many wealthy folks consider other options like private schools and charter schools, the benefits of living in the district of a highly rated public school can be worth the higher price tag for parents who would prefer that their children have the same sort of education that they did growing up.
Of course, within the public school system there can be an extreme difference in quality from one school to the next, and a lot of that is related to local property values. In many areas, public schools are funded by local property taxes, so the more affluent the neighborhood, the better funded the school will be. (It’s a complicated and problematic loop that leads to poorer children ending up with substantially worse education options. But that’s beyond the scope of what we’re getting into here.)
The desire to put your kids in the best schools that you can is a universal one that is by no means limited to people in the wealthiest neighborhoods. If middle-income parents are considering houses that are in all other ways equal, they will pick the house in the better school district every time.
This means that any house flipper who isn’t doing his or her research about local school systems is missing an important piece of the buying and selling equation. While certainly a wide range of factors need to be weighed – the potential after repair value, the level of remodeling required, the overall budget of the project and the desirability of the neighborhood, to name a few – school districts should be high on the list. This is especially true for any flipper who is focusing on homes at the lower end of the market, places that would likely be “starter homes” for young families.
A great place to get started with local school research is GreatSchools.org. This free resource is commonly used by parents, so it makes sense to go off of the same data that your potential buyers will eventually consider.
As you begin your research, remember that ZINC Financial can provide you with pre-approval for fix and flip loans so that you can move quickly when the right property comes on the market. Give our office a call to learn more about our current house flipping loans or to ask any questions you may have about rehab loans in general.