There are so many factors to consider when you start looking at homes. Recently I was showing property to a young couple for their first time. We talked a lot about the type of property they wanted and what they could afford to do in terms of repairs, etc. We talked about the need for a larger space and yard. The type of neighborhood they wanted and then I asked them if they had thought about schools. “Does it really matter what school district we are in?” was their response. Well, yes – it does, if you plan to have childrens you want to think ahead and even if you do not have children or plan to have them, school districts affect the overall value of a property. I know many parents that found homes they loved, but didn’t buy the home because it wasn’t in Washington or Vieja Valley or whatever district they desired.
What if you don’t have kids now, but plan to someday? When property values were going up every day, it was easy to think, “we will just sell this house and move when we have kids.” Unfortunately, as priced began to fall many people who had planned to move found themselves stuck. So even if you don’t have kids now, but are thinking about them in the future – take into consideration the schools that are available too you and if they are options you would be happy with. If the answer is “no” then you need to ask yourself if private school is feasible or look for another property.
How much does private school cost? We are very lucky to have a lot of private schools available in Santa Barbara, Montecito, Goleta and Carpinteria. From small Carden based schools such as Howard in Carpinteria to college preparatory high schools like Laguna Blanca. Each school has a unique feel and student body and the tuition for each varies greatly. The lowest cost private schools start around $6,000 and can be as high as $26,000 per year. Many of the more affordable schools are faith based institutions, which might be a preference for some families.
If you are considering a home purchase or a move – research your schools and know your options. Then you won’t be surprised when your child is ready for kindergarten.
You can also get information on school ratings at http://www.greatschools.org/
Photo credit Santa Barbara Junior High: Flickr/bredgur