Last year, a study commissioned by Redfin found that home buyers were paying an average of $50 per square foot more for “top-rated” schools. I’m not sure that their methodology or sample group really apply to what I see every day in Atlanta, but it definitely got me thinking: If I were to take the same house, put it on a truck and move it from an “average” Atlanta school to a “top rated” school… what would the price difference look like? Low and behold, I found such a house.
The City of Decatur recently annexed a few streets, meaning that homeowners who had previously been zoned for Dekalb County Schools have been granted golden tickets into Decatur’s highly respected school system. There is a home currently on market – priced with the City of Decatur “school premium” – that was also on the market earlier this year when it was zoned for a Dekalb County school that shall remain nameless.
Previous list price: $265,000. Current list price: $400,000.
For those of you scoring at home, that’s a price increase of $135,000- nearly 50%. Granted, these are both just list prices- neither assigns a true value to this property, only one particular seller’s expectation of value. Still, it’s a pretty jaw dropping price increase and given how robust Decatur’s housing market has been over the last few years, I’m not sure that the seller is too far off from what it will eventually sell for.
“Schools, schools, schools” might just be giving “location, location, location” a run for its money…