Smart Real Estate – Why Prospective Buyers are Studying By Anna Oliver
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ith both parents and all of my siblings either current or former serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces, my family is intimately familiar with all that goes into a move— whether across town or across the country. The considerations when buying that new home are seemingly endless, from proximity to grocery stores and other amenities, neighbourhood walkability, to, of course, number of bedrooms and bathrooms. As more young couples and families begin to look at buying their first homes, one factor stands out above the rest: a home’s proximity to good schools.
Whether purchasing because of a move or simply as the next step after renting, for many, the consideration of local elementary and secondary schools, and the catchment district into which their new home may fall, is front-of-mind for young buyers in today’s market.
[pullquote]”neighbourhoods and communities with good schools often attract better amenities and resources”[/pullquote]
Throughout my thirteen years in real estate, I have worked with people of all ages and income brackets. With first-time homebuyers and repeat clients on second and third moves, it has been interesting to me to see the way that priorities change over time. Many clients who were young singles at the time that we first worked together are now parents or soon-to-be parents, and are buying in specific neighbourhoods because of their little ones’ future schools!
It’s not only parents with Ivy League or NHL dreams who are house shopping with specific schools in mind, either. In a realtor.com survey of almost 1,000 prospective buyers, more than 90 per cent said that school boundaries were an important factor in their search. Whether looking for a solid French immersion program, a plethora of after school activities, or simply an overall high school ranking, the reality is that a high priority is being placed on schools when moms and/or dads are looking to purchase the new family home.
This also has farther-reaching effects on the real estate market than may seem obvious at first blush. As more parents pay attention to Fraser Institute rankings and public opinion on schools in their prospective neighbourhoods, many forward-thinking buyers without children, and who never intend to have them, are purposely buying within the boundaries of good school districts.
Not only do neighbourhoods and communities with good schools often attract better amenities and resources, but the high demand for homes also naturally increases the value of the homes in that area—and many are buying now with the hope of selling high later. Beyond the home’s increase in value is the likelihood of being able to resell easily when the time comes. Homes in good school districts are always in demand and unlikely to leave sellers waiting for too long.
I never imagined, at the beginning of my real estate career, how much I would learn about the relative merits of elementary and high schools. But whether you have kids now, plan to someday, or simply want to ensure you get good value in your next home purchase, school districts have become one of the most important considerations you can make. Time to study up!
ANNA OLIVER, sales representative at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada “Successfully helping buyers and sellers for more than 13 years with all of their real estate needs.” Annaoliver.ca