Prospective homebuyers choose target neighborhoods for a reason … appearance, reputation, amenities, security, quality of builders, access to particular transportation arteries, employers … and SCHOOLS. Even homebuyers who do not have children and don’t plan to should be aware about schools in areas where they shop, if only because they will affect resale values in the future.
If you are a confirmed childless homeowner, then this may matter less. In an otherwise attractive neighborhood, poorly rated or inaccessible schools will generally affect all homes in the area equally, so if you are conscious of that factor during price negotiations, you should be fine in the future. Otherwise, you should make yourself aware of school options — public and private — when considering your purchase alternatives. Of course, if you’re buying in a retirement community like Sun City or Longhorn Village in the Austin area, this caution does not apply.
As a starting point in your research, visit the Local School Reports page on my website.
For additional information, here are several links to information about Region XIII of the Texas Education Agency, in which all Austin-area schools reside:
Texas Education Agency, Region XIII Education Service Center
Region XIII ESC School Rankings
If you are interested in private schools, here is an excellent resource:
Moving with children can be challenging in many ways. In choosing schools, don’t rely on published statistics. Visit campuses. Talk to staff and faculty members. Visit a PTA meeting if possible. Make your own decisions.
Schools are not the only reason for choosing a home or a neighborhood. For many, this isn’t even among the most important criteria. Either way, these resources should be valuable to you.
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