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Personal Finances / Buying or Selling a Home


Subject:  Homes & School Districts Date:  3/18/2004  3:37 AM
Author:  CCSand Number:  67458 of 128887

My husband and I have been thinking about moving to a larger home. We live in the San Jose, California area. We are also fortunate enough to live in an area where they have the best school districts.

I have never looked for a home before. My husband bought his home 20 years ago before we were married. So I have never been through this process.

But as I go through what's available a few things strike me:

1. The difference between a 3BR home and a 4-5 BR home is orders of magnitude. It's not a simple increase in price due to the added value of one extra bedroom.

2. The difference in home prices between school districts is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. With similar homes in lesser school districts going for up to $400,000 less than what our current home is worth. And that even with that home having 1 more BR than ours.

It seems to me that with home prices so flexible this way that it doesn't make any sense at all to move into a home in a good school district. Why?

Because for the difference in price, we could:

1. Have little or no mortgage (we have a lot of equity in our current home);
2. Have enough saved up to send one child plus one more (if we have another) to a really good private school;
3. And I could quit my job and be a full time mom.

California spends between $6-7K/student per year. Multiply by 12 and that's between $72K and $84K actual value (yes, I know the dollars won't be constant - it's a snapshot). (Not that you necessarily get value when you send your children to a public school, but that's besides the point.) But the home prices in the good school districts are as much as $400K more.

Is there some reason I want to pay $300K more for a school district? I really think this is nuts.

Is there something I'm missing here?

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