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How To Factor In School Zones When Buying A Home

If you are buying a home and want to beat the market when you sell it, use these counterintuitive tips about using school zones during your searchWhen people are looking for a home to buy, I always expect to hear about specific school zones. They will say "I want to be in this or that school zone, but not these others."

If they have a child that will attend school now or in the near future, I understand them doing the research to help determine which school(s) might be best for their child. But what about people buying a home who do not have school-aged children or perhaps have children who attend private schools, how can they use their knowledge of Leon County schools to help them make a smarter purchase?

If you are buying a home with no need for a school yet plan on including your opinion of the public schools in your decision, you should know that you're likely to miss a great opportunity.

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How To Use Your Knowledge Of Schools When Buying A Home

I am restricted by a code of ethics and a few Florida Statutes for sharing an opinion on the quality of specific schools. Fortunately, that is not an issue with today's topic.

Without addressing a specific school, let me propose a smarter way for you to use your knowledge and opinions of the local schools to your advantage when buying a home.

For the sake of this article, we are going to assume that you have classified all schools into one of two categories: Acceptable and unacceptable.

Most buyers will say I want to be in an acceptable school zone, that way I can sell my home for more money when it comes time to move and sell. But actually, that makes no sense at all. Look at the four possible scenarios below, and tell me which ones have the most upside potential?

  1. You buy a home in an acceptable school zone, live there for 7 years, and then sell it at which time the school zone is still acceptable.
  2. You buy a home in an acceptable school zone, live there for 7 years, and then sell it at which time the school zone is no longer acceptable.
  3. You buy a home in an unacceptable school zone, live there for 7 years, and then sell it at which time the school zone is still unacceptable.
  4. You buy a home in an unacceptable school zone, live there for 7 years, and then sell it at which time the school zone is now acceptable.

In the first example, you pay MORE to buy the home, pay MORE to live there, and then receive MORE when you sell it. In the second situation, you pay MORE to buy the home, pay MORE to live there, and then receive LESS when you sell it.

In the third choice, you pay LESS to buy the home, pay LESS to live there, and then receive MORE when you sell it. In the final one, you pay LESS to buy the home, pay LESS to live there, and then receive a lot MORE when you sell it.

Whether the school zone is acceptable or unacceptable, history has shown that appreciation will occur at roughly the same rate across all school zones. Homes located in the acceptable school zones sell for more than those in the unacceptable school zones. And therein lies the opportunity for people who will not be sending children to the schools for which their home is zoned.

By purchasing your next home (when you have no use for the school) in an unacceptable school zone, you'll save money when you buy, you'll spend less on your monthly payment, and then you'll enjoy at least "market" appreciation but also have the potential for above-market appreciation.

There is little chance that buying a home in an unacceptable school zone is going to result in the school getting worse, right? But if you live in a home for 7 years, a trendy "acceptable" school today could very well be "unacceptable" in the future when you sell it.

This means there is an inherent market risk in today's acceptable school zones and none in the unacceptable school zones. Why pay for the schools you are not going to use?

Take advantage of the upside potential of buying a home where you receive a discount due to the school zones and you'll come out ahead regardless of what the future holds.

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Leon County School Zones

Search Homes In Tallahassee School Zones

Use the following links to listings, sorted by each school zone in Tallahassee, Florida, to find the most current properties listed for sale in the Tallahassee MLS. From starter homes to the most expensive homes in Tallahassee, you'll be able to see them all (and we update our listings almost 100 times daily!).

Elementary School Zones

Middle School Zones

High School Zones

I hope our advice on school zones will help you be a better-informed shopper the next time you buy a home. If you have any questions or comments, you can give us a call at (850) 366-8917 or drop us a note and we'll help you with your specific Tallahassee real estate needs.

As a local born and raised in Tallahassee with a focus on customer service, I promise you'll find great success when working with Joe Manausa Real Estate, just as have our past customers. You can thousands of their reviews reported on Google, Facebook and Zillow right here: Real Estate Agent Reviews Tallahassee.

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(850) 366-8917