Tips for Home Buyers-Finding the Right Schools in St. Louis
How do you find the right school for your child? When it comes time to buy a home, your decision will probably be based on dozens of criteria. If you are like many of the home buyers that we have assisted over the years, good schools will be at the top of your list. Even people with no children are often concerned about the quality of schools. They know property values often reflect the reputation of schools both private and public. It is almost a given that a home near a good school may be easier to sell in the future.
It is advisable to look at schools early in the house-hunting process so you can narrow your focus to certain areas and/or neighborhoods. Consider the following approaches and available resources for determining whether a school or school district is right for you and your children.
Define Your Idea of “Good”
The first step is taking a look at your child’s educational needs. Is he or she average, exceptional, or is there a learning disability to consider? What is your child’s interest and natural abilities? Cerebral? Athletic? Artistic? It might not matter that the school your considering is at the tops in science and math if your child’s educational focus is in language and fine arts. Identifying individual needs will help determine the types of programs and educational approaches you’re looking for in a school.
Get An Overview
You can tap into the resources of organizations to find out what schools are available in a particular area and how they rank compared with others in the system, the states and the nation. (See the following page for details.)
Take a look at the programs that would most interest or benefit your children. Is the local public school strong in those areas? If not, there may be a good private school alternative in the vicinity.
Just remember that what you see on paper may not provide a complete picture of the school, its resources and the capabilities of its educational staff.
Identify the District
It’s easy to find out what school district a home for sale is listed in. This information is almost always included in the MLS listing information available on most real estate web sites. Please be aware however, that school boards frequently re-draw district lines. To get an idea where these lines are click here. To help ensure a home is likely to remain in a particular district, you may want to find out how close it is to district lines. Having the location of your next home central to a district increases your chances of staying within that district. It is always a good idea to contact the local board of education to obtain a map.
Tips for Locating the Right School
Go To The Source
Another good tip is to ask the local board for any information available about the school system, special programs, etc. Many boards will provide you with standardized test scores, often broken down for each school and subject area. Private schools often provide test-score information and college-placement statistics as well. Click here to see a map of private schools in the area
Interview the Neighbors
Perhaps the best way to investigate a school is to talk with parents whose children attend. Visit neighborhoods in the area and ask them to be candid about what they like and dislike about local schools. BTW, if you are in a neighborhood that you are interested in and you would like to know if there are any homes for sale, take advantage of our mobile real estate search app that works right on your phone!
Let Us Help You Get Started
We will be happy to provide the phone numbers and website addresses of the schools and districts in our area. Be aware, however, that complying with fair housing practices, we may not be able to provide you with all the information you seek. Discussing school quality can be construed as “steering” buyers to or away from particular neighborhoods, which can be viewed as discrimination, even if it is unintentional.
That being said, we will do everything we can to support your efforts to locate the right home and the right schools to meet your family’s needs.
The School Hunters
American School Directory: (800) 444-4488
School Match: (800)992-5323
For a fee you can receive a report card on any public school or one of thousands of private schools in the U.S. At an additional cost, they will list up to 15 schools that match your criteria identified by their questionnaire. They also assist families with special-needs children and those moving overseas.
Finding Homes for You is a unique real estate company that only works for buyers, never for the seller. Your interests, information, housing desires and goals are always kept secured with us. We have been called the Home Buyer’s Best Friend.
Call Finding Homes for You today at 636-532-4200 to chat with one of our Exclusive Buyer Agents.