For many of my clients, getting into a good school district is one of the most important factors in choosing where to buy. In fact, for families with children, I often hear “Well, our daughter is starting Kindergarten next year and we want to be in a better school district.” Most of the time, when my clients were married with no children, schools weren’t even a factor in their decision. Then, they have their first (and possibly second) child in that home and realize that they need to be in a better school district once they start Kindergarten.
However, the challenge for these buyers is that the school district has a huge impact on home prices. For example, in Vienna there can be a $50,000-$100,000 price difference in home values based upon which elementary school the house is zoned for. So this got me thinking…which neighborhoods provide the best value in the best school districts? In other words, which school districts still have affordable housing?
In order to answer this question, I first looked at the top elementary schools, as determined by GreatSchools.org, which received an 8, 9, or 10 rating. Interestingly, there are no “10” rated elementary schools in Fairfax County. Disclaimer: I’m am not saying that GreatSchools is the authority in determining the best school for your family. It is simply a metric that we can use to compare different schools. Please do your own due diligence on selecting which school you want your family to attend.
Then, I looked at the median sales price for each elementary school. I looked at the past 12 months of sales for detached, single family homes. You could do the same analysis with townhomes or condos as well. Here are the results:
- Oak Hill Elementary School in Herndon is the most affordable area with a “9” Great School Rating. The median home price for Oak Hill is $530,500.
- Springfield Estates Elementary School in Springfield is the most affordable area with a “8” Great School Rating. The median home price for Springfield Estates is $475,000.
Interestingly, the higher the rating, the more expensive the median home prices, with “9” rated schools tend to be at the upper end of the spectrum, and “8” rated schools towards the lower end. Keep in mind also that these reflect the median value, which means you can definitely find homes for a lower price than listed on the chart.
We also broke down each school district by neighborhood to understand what are the most affordable neighborhoods within each school district. See below to download our full report and analysis.