Relocating? Check the School District First.

You’ve been hunting for the best neighborhood in your new town. At this point in your life you’re just focusing on your career and not even thinking about kids. So, you’ve been looking at how close your new house is to restaurants and entertainment rather than how good the school system is. But trust us, your school district should be near the top of your “perfect location” list.

Even if you never have kids, you should always consider your home’s school district when you’re buying. It’s going to affect everything from how much house you can afford to how easy it is to sell when you’re ready. Here's what you should be prepared to consider when looking for a house in a highly rated school district.

The size of your home may be smaller.

Homes in a good school district generally cost more per square foot. So if you go to a better district, you might have to make trade offs in house size, number of bedrooms, and lot size. The tradeoff might be worth it when you want to sell and its value has increased.

You may pay higher property taxes.

Not only are homes more expensive in better school districts, you’re also going to be paying higher property taxes for the benefit of living in that district. In many cases, property taxes help finance local schools, so this one makes sense.

You may be more protected from market fluctuations.

The good news about paying more for a better school district? Your house value is probably going to be a little more stable. Even in a down market, parents still want their kids to have the best education possible. Families will always want to move to school districts with desirable schools.

Having kids some day? Maybe? You might avoid paying for private school.

Even if you don’t want kids now, you might want them one day. Plenty of parents who didn't plan ahead end up in a bind, using private schools, and paying a lot for them, because they aren't happy with the nearby public schools. You could be tacking on hundreds of dollars a month to your overall expenses. When it comes time for your little one to go to college, you might have blown through all your education savings already.

There's a reason Zillow, Trulia, and other online home databases list schools for each home. That's the kind of information every buyer wants to know! You might not go to school, you might never want kids (or you might homeschool!), but you probably want to live in a neighborhood where people are basically happy to be there and home values stay on the rise. And the local school district is a big part of that! So, whether you need those schools or not, scroll down to the end of the online listing and take a look. You'll be glad you did!