Which Middle School Dominates The Tallahassee Real Estate Market?

Of all the factors that buyers tell us are important to them during their home search, "schools" are perhaps the most important.

Today, we'll look at which Middle Schools appear to attract the most buyers, and what you have to spend to live "in the zone."

Homes For Sale In Fairview Middle School Zone

Fairview Middle School Zone

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Which Middle Schools Attract The Most Homebuyers

Which Middle Schools Attract The Most Homebuyers

The number of homebuyers purchasing a home in each of Tallahassee' Middle School zones can be seen above (bar columns, measured on the left vertical axis). The average price that they have paid is shown in green and recorded on the right vertical axis. Here are the results:

  1. Fairview Middle School: $183,932
  2. Griffin Middle School: $109,832
  3. Deerlake Middle School: $315,606
  4. Montford Middle School: $263,113
  5. Raa Middle School: $242,518
  6. Cobb Middle School: $231,689
  7. Swift Creek Middle School: $261,399
  8. Nims Middle School: $90,271
  9. Ft. Braden Middle School: $167,907

Thus far in 2017, there have been more homes sold in the Fairview Middle School zone that in any other. Could this be due to the fact that Fairview's current Principal is former Leon High School football star Scott Hansen? Maybe!

I find it interesting that the range of home values by middle school spans from $90K at the lower end to more than $315K at the upper end.

Shopping Homes For Sale By Middle School Zone

With home shopping by middle school zone being so important to many homebuyers, we have created quick links that will allow you to do so without keying in a lot of information.

Simply go to our "Homes For Sale By School Zone" page here, or view it from the drop-down menu at the top of our website. Either way will get you to the school of your choice fast!

Should School Search Matter If You Don't Have Children

If you do not have children (or your children are not of the school-zone age), sometimes your real estate agent might encourage you to make it a factor in your search. The conventional thinking is "it might not matter to you, but it likely will matter to the buyer when it comes time to sell your home!"

Here is why this is flawed thinking.

Yes, it likely will matter to your future homebuyer. In the future, many buyers (like today) will be concerned with school zones. They will place a premium on homes built in areas that are zoned for the highest rated schools. Conversely, they will be less inclined to value a home in an area zoned for the lower-scoring schools.

But the same is true today. Meaning, if you purchase a home in a high scoring zone today and sell it in a high scoring zone in the future, you will pay more now and get more later. And if you purchase a home in a lower scoring zone today and sell it in a lower scoring zone in the future, will will pay less now and get less later.

If things don't change, then the cost of ownership will be lower if you purchase in a lower-scoring school zone today.

So if there does not appear to be any lifestyle differences between two areas that you favor, perhaps you should be concerned with an area's likelihood of having a change in the quality of the schools. For example, an A-rated school zone dropping might cost you money, whereas a B-rated school zone rising might make you money.

If you are planning to own the home for less than five years, a study of current schools would be a prudent step of your home buying process. But if you plan on living in your home for more than five years, is it truly possible to determine the long-term changes that will occur in Leon County Schools? I'm not so sure.

As a general rule, if you do not have children or if your children will not be attending Leon County Schools, I would urge you to see if there are great deals to be found outside of the areas zoned for A-rated schools. There is upside potential of the schools changing favorably that would likely lead to better-than-market appreciation rates during the time you own the home.

There are many other value-related topics that you should discuss with your real estate buyer's agent in order for you to purchase the best home possible for you and your family within the budget that you set. More questions? Just drop me a note any time.

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