Schools… and Their Effects on Home Buying in NW Arkansas
New to NW Arkansas? Or maybe you’ve already chosen to call this thriving area home, and are now considering a new investment… If that describes you, there is no doubt you have many questions on how to begin your search. With so many things to take into consideration, you may be asking yourself, “where do I start?”, “what neighborhood would be best?”, “How do the schools compare here?”, “How far will my dollar stretch?”, “How do I find a good Realtor®?”, or “What is there to do in NW Arkansas anyway?” Hopefully we will be able to answer a few of those questions for you here at Get Real NWA.
Our first topic is one that we get asked about a lot in the real estate industry… “How do the schools compare in NW Arkansas, and how will they effect home ownership?” According to the 2014 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 29% of home buyers listed school quality as a factor in their home purchase, and another 22% listed proximity to schools as equally important. This being true, we would say it matters a great deal to our Clients, so here are some thing to think about before buying:
- Houses in good school districts typically have a higher resale value and sell faster
- Living near a school can bring such advantages as convenience, gas savings, less time spent driving to and from school, increased safety, and even outdoor amenities offered by the school such as: a playground, track, sport fields, basketball court, etc.
- Disadvantages might include increased volume of traffic during certain times of the day, increased foot traffic and loitering by students walking to and from school, or a limited pool of interest when trying to sell your house
All of these factors may affect you differently depending on your season of life. Thus, the decision to buy near a school will be unique to you, the buyer. The next question often asked by someone who is re-locating, or buying with children in mind is, “How good are the schools in NW Arkansas?” Fortunately for us, the answer to this is an easy one. According to U.S. News and World Report, “four of the five top high schools in the state are located in Northwest Arkansas, with Haas Hall taking home the #1 Ranking in 2015.” NW Arkansas has definitely made its mark in quality of education offered, and continues to push the ceiling on excellence. But if you are like me, I enjoy digging through rankings, facts, and statistics (yes, I was that girl in school), so don’t take my word for it…Check out the links below to do your own research…
National Center for Education Statistics- www.nces.ed.gov/globallocator
Great Schools- www.greatschools.org
School Digger- www.schooldigger.com
Private School Review- www.privateschoolreview.com
One last note when considering school districts… Each district typically has their own online homepage, which is very helpful in understanding their academic focus, long-term plans, and zoning. We would encourage you to look carefully at the zoning maps provided by each district website, especially if you are searching for a home zoned for a particular school, as zoning can change quickly in a fast growing area. There is nothing worse than finding the home of your dreams, and then being disappointed to find it is not actually zoned for the school you thought it was. Although your Realtor® can be a huge asset in helping you research zoning, it is always best to be equipped with this knowledge yourself.
Hopefully, this blog will help you as you begin your search! After all, buying a home is one of the largest investments you make in your lifetime, and one you should feel confident in for years to come …Feel free to reach out to us at The Brandon Group with any questions you might have, we are always happy to help…and be sure to be on the lookout for our next posting of Get Real NWA!