How much school districts really matter to new homebuyers

by Kyle Scheuring

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Many homebuyers are willing to compromise on almost anything except location. But according to new survey data from realtor.com, location has become synonymous with school district.

Of all successful buyers surveyed, 73 percent say school boundaries are “important” to their home searching process, and over a third of all buyers consider it “very important.” School districts can make or break a sale because buyers aren’t willing to compromise on education.

“Most buyers understand that they may not be able to find a home that covers every single item on their wish list,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com. “But our survey shows that school districts are an area where many buyers aren’t willing to compromise. For many buyers, ‘location, location, location,’ means ‘schools, schools, schools.'”

  • 78 percent of buyers who successfully moved into their desired school district indicated they had to compromise on other home features such as a garage and a large backyard.
  • 86 percent of respondents in the 18-34 age group indicated school district boundaries as important, as well as 84 percent in the 35-54 age group.
  • School district boundaries are a priority among younger homebuyers, yet 37 percent of the 55-plus age group still considers them important to their homebuying process.
  • Only 9 percent of buyers surveyed were neutral on the topic of school district location.