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Cheap ZIPs with good schools – Chicago neighborhood makes the cut

by James F. McClister

affordable-zips-good-school-median-home-price-homeunion-real-estate

All parents want their children to go to a good school, but not all parents can afford to live in the districts that house them. That’s not the case in Oak Park, according to a recent analysis from HomeUnion.

“The quality of public schools is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a home, especially for families,” said Don Ganguly, CEO of HomeUnion.

But while the want for a good education is universal, the ability to provide it is limited. You need money, Ganguly added.

“In many cases, home buyers are willing to pay more to be located in a neighborhood with highly ranked schools, even if it means downsizing into a smaller home.”

It is a trend the country over that a city’s best schools are nestled in the neighborhoods where the median home price is more akin to luxury than middle-class.

Last year in Glencoe, homes surrounding the renowned West School sold for a median price of more than $900,000, according to RealtyTrac. In Houston, $1.13 million could get you a place within the district lines of the highly-rated West University Elementary School. The correlation is seen from coast to coast and border to border.

But there are some areas where that trend is bucked; and Oak Park (specifically ZIP 60301) is one of them.

According to the HomeUnion, the area’s school rating – derived from test scores, graduation rates and student-to-teacher ratios – is more than 81.3 out of 100. However, median home price in the first quarter of 2016 was $172,000, making it one of the most affordable neighborhoods in the country with highly rated schools.

To see its peers, check out the table below:

Metro Area City ZIP School Rating Median Home Price (Q1 2016)
Kansas City Blue Springs, Mo. 64014 88 $143,000
Indianapolis Noblesville 46060 85 $157,000
St. Louis SW section of St. Louis 63126 96 $160,000
Philadelphia Sellersville 18960 85 $171,000
Chicago Oak Park 60301 91 $172,000
Cleveland Broadview Heights 44147 91 $179,000
Austin Central section of Austin 78705 88 $187,000
Raleigh Cary 27511 82 $188,000
Memphis Olive Branch 38654 91 $190,000
Atlanta Buford 30519 87 $194,000
Charlotte Indian Trail 28079 82 $196,000
Dallas/Fort Worth Plano 75023 81 $201,000
Houston Katy 77450 90 $202,000
Minneapolis Elko New Market 55020 85 $209,000
Cincinnati Loveland 45140 87 $218,000
San Antonio North San Antonio 78259 89.8 $226,000
Tampa Palm Harbor 34685 81.1 $246,000
Jacksonville St. John’s 32259 88.3 $268,000
Milwaukee Elm Grove 53122 92.3 $273,000
Denver Centennial 80122 80.2 $279,000
Portland Lake Oswego 97035 89 $320,000
Seattle Bothell 98011 84 $360,000
Orlando Windermere 34786 81 $361,000
San Diego Mira Mesa section of San Diego 92126 89.1 $397,000
Orange County Rancho Santa Margarita 92688 89.4 $425,000
Inland Empire Rancho Cucamonga 91737 80.7 $455,000
Los Angeles County Montrose 91020 93.2 $490,000
Oakland Livermore 94551 83.5 $525,000
Miami Pinecrest 33158 82 $570,000
San Jose Milpitas 95035 80.4 $590,000
San Francisco Novato 94947 80.3 $612,000

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