- About 75 percent of homebuyers said that access to excellent schools was important in their search.
- Nearly 80 percent of buyers gave up some home features to land in their preferred school district, with about one in five sacrificing a garage.
- Palo Alto is home to the top-ranked school district and high school in California this year and also claims America’s best college.
Purchasing a home in a good school district has always been a high priority for buyers who have or want children, and recent survey results show just how much a neighborhood’s educational pedigree matters.
Nearly three-quarters of successful homebuyers said that the quality of the school district was either important or very important in their purchasing decision, according to a realtor.com poll and an accompanying analysis by company Chief Economist Danielle Hale. About the same amount — 78 percent — sacrificed some features to score a home in their desired school district.
Although a separate survey conducted by realtor.com earlier this year found that a garage was the No. 1 home amenity, 19 percent of buyers gave up that essential to gain access to an excellent school district. Eighteen percent sacrificed a large backyard, 17 percent gave up an updated kitchen and additional bedrooms, and 16 percent were willing to forgo an outdoor living space.
So what criteria defines a good school in the eyes of homebuyers? For 59 percent, test scores are the most important thing to look for. Next on the list are accelerated curriculums (53 percent) and music programs (49 percent).
The analysis also examined the most popular schools in every state based on 2018 search data from realtor.com. In California, the most searched elementary school is Cordelia Hills Elementary Hills in the Solano County city of Fairfield. For high schools, buyers are performing the most searches for Clovis North High School, located on the outskirts of Fresno.
Excellent educational opportunities are one of the reasons that Silicon Valley remains such a sought-after — and expensive — destination for California homebuyers. Earlier this year, Niche.com ranked school districts in Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Saratoga, and Mountain View as the best in California. Palo Alto’s Henry M. Gunn High School ranks No. 1 in the Golden State, while Stanford University is at the head of the class on Niche.com’s 2018 list of America’s best colleges.
But buyers who are intent on providing their children with a top-tier Palo Alto education will need to dig deep to pull it off. According to MLS data, the median price for a single-family home in the Santa Clara County city in the second quarter was $3.2 million, a year-over-year gain of 21 percent.
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- Sixty-eight percent of the best U.S. places to sell a home are in California according to a new report from SmartAsset.
- Home values in Alameda County’s Hayward grew by 20.3 percent between 2012 and 2016, the most of any city included on a list.
- Homes in San Jose currently sell in less than a week, making it the fastest-paced U.S. market.
An aerial view of Fremont, which ranks among the 10 best markets for home sellers in 2018.
Demand for California homes remains high as the traditionally busy spring season begins, with more than two-thirds of 2018’s top markets for sellers located in the state.
An annual analysis from SmartAsset ranks the 25 best U.S. cities in which to sell a home on a 100-point scale. Factors used to determine a housing market’s seller-friendliness include change in home value from 2012 to 2016, average days on market, percentage of homes sold for a loss, and average closing costs in 2017.
Golden State cities account for 17 of the 25 best sellers’ markets this spring. That’s a notable jump from SmartAsset’s 2017 list of top places to sell a home, when just four California cities were included.
The Bay Area’s top-ranked representative is No. 5 Hayward, which scores a 95.49. Home prices in the Alameda County community have appreciated by 20.3 percent in the aforementioned five-year period, the most of any city on the list.
With a 91.88, Fremont is the other Bay Area city to crack the top 10, tied at No. 8. Homes there are selling in an average of 12 days, making it the list’s second fastest-paced market. Along with Hayward, Fremont has the highest average closing costs, at $11,407.
Homes are flying off the market in No. 13 San Jose, where the average property sells in just five days, faster than any other city in the analysis. Between 2012 and 2016, San Jose’s median home value increased by 14.4 percent, and since then, appreciation in the area has become even more pronounced. According to the latest home sales report from the California Association of Realtors, the median sales price for a single-family home in Santa Clara County was $1,383,500 in February, a year-over-year gain of 25.8 percent and a new record high.
Tied at No. 23 with San Bernardino County’s Rancho Cucamonga, Santa Rosa is the Bay Area’s final representative, where homes find a buyer in an average of 16 days. The other California cities that rank as the best for sellers: Moreno Valley (No. 2), Elk Grove (No. 3), Fontana (No. 6), Ontario (No. 8), Pomona (No. 10), Chula Vista (No. 11), Palmdale (No. 12), Riverside (No. 15), Corona (No. 18), Escondido (No. 21), Oceanside (No. 22), and Santa Ana (No. 25).
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