Why proximity to schools should be an integral part of your Home Buying Decision

It's not just about the house; it's about creating the ideal environment for your family's growth and ensuring a wise investment in your future.

When it comes to home buying, the old saying "location, location, location" holds true. However, it's about more than just the neighbourhood or the amenities nearby. The quality of schools in the area also plays a significant role in determining property values. 

This decision can profoundly impact your family's quality of life and the long-term value of your investment. In this blog post, we'll explore how the proximity to the quality of schools can impact property values and why it's essential to have a variety of private and public schools close to your home.

First and foremost, the quality of nearby schools can significantly affect your child's education. Researching school rankings and performance can help you make an informed choice, ensuring your child has access to the best educational opportunities available. Moreover, shorter commutes to school mean more time for children to rest, study, or engage in extracurricular activities.

Understanding the Link Between Edmonton Home Values and Quality of Schools

There is a clear connection when it comes to the relationship between home values and the quality of schools. Numerous studies have shown that homes located near Edmonton’s top-rated schools tend to have higher property values compared to those in areas with lower-performing schools.

The reasons for this link are multi-faceted. Firstly, families with school-aged children often prioritize access to quality education. They’re willing to pay a premium to live in Edmonton neighbourhoods with renowned public or private schools to ensure their children receive the best education possible. 

As a result, the demand for homes in these areas increases, leading to higher property values.

Secondly, a school's reputation plays a significant role in attracting potential buyers. Buyers are not just purchasing a home but buying into the entire community. If the neighbourhood is known for its exceptional schools, it creates a sense of desirability and trust among buyers. This increased demand further drives up property values.

Lastly, the quality of schools can also impact the perception of a neighbourhood. Areas with high-performing schools are often associated with safe and family-friendly environments. This perception can make the neighbourhood more attractive to buyers, driving up property values.

Overall, the link between home values and the quality of schools is a complex interplay of demand, reputation, and perception. Understanding this relationship is crucial for both homebuyers and sellers, as it can significantly impact the value of a property.

Private vs. Public Schools: Assessing the Impact on Property Prices

When choosing a school for your child, one crucial consideration is whether to go with a private or public institution. And while the decision should primarily be based on what best aligns with your child's needs and values, it's worth considering how this choice can also impact property values. Edmonton offers 212 public schools, 90 Catholic schools and several other private schools across its 375 neighbourhoods. 

The impact of private vs. public schools on property prices can vary depending on various factors, such as the schools' reputation, location, and the preferences of potential buyers. In some cases, homes located near prestigious private schools may command higher prices due to the exclusivity and perceived prestige associated with these institutions. Families who prioritize private education for their children might be willing to pay a premium to live within the catchment area of these schools, which ties strongly into annual household income. 

On the other hand, homes near highly-regarded public schools may also boost their property values. Many families recognize the quality of education public schools provide, especially those in sought-after school districts. These districts often have well-funded schools, exceptional teachers, and many academic and extracurricular opportunities. As a result, homes in these areas can attract a larger pool of potential buyers, leading to increased demand and, in turn, higher property values.

It's important to note that the impact of school choice on property prices is not always guaranteed. Local real estate markets and buyer preferences can vary significantly, and individual factors such as home size, location, and amenities can also influence property values. 

Additionally, the perception of schools can change over time, so it's crucial to consider your area's long-term outlook and overall market trends.


Importance of School Variety and Level for Neighbourhood Attraction

When choosing a school for your child, having a variety of options nearby can significantly enhance the appeal of your neighbourhood. The availability of private and public schools at varying levels allows families to choose the educational path that best aligns with their values and preferences. From elementary school to University, Edmonton’s wide variety of school options can attract a diverse range of families to an area. 

School variety also contributes to a sense of community within a neighbourhood. Having different schools in the area means that families from different backgrounds and interests can come together and interact. This fosters a sense of belonging and community spirit, as families can bond over shared experiences and support each other in their educational journey.

Additionally, various school levels can contribute to a more vibrant and dynamic neighbourhood. Different schools may offer unique programs or specialties, such as arts, second language or STEM-based education and can attract families with a particular interest in these areas and create a hub of creativity and innovation within the community.

In summary, having a variety of private and public schools close to your home is crucial for neighbourhood attraction. It provides families options, fosters a sense of community, and contributes to a vibrant and diverse neighbourhood. So, when choosing your dream home, consider the variety of schools in the area and how they can enhance your overall living experience.

 Proximity to schools matter - when more potential buyers compete for a limited number of homes, prices naturally increase

Ryan McCann, Realtor

Case Studies: Areas Where School Proximity Enhanced Real Estate Value

Numerous case studies demonstrate the impact of school proximity on Edmonton’s real estate values. Whether it be the ever-popular Aspen Gardens or Westmount for their elementary schools or the communities of Garneau, Windsor Park, Belgravia and McKernan for their proximity to the University of Alberta, homes in these areas are in high demand, with many families willing to pay a premium to secure a spot within the school district. 

Property values in this neighbourhood have remained stable, even during economic downturns, due to the consistent demand for homes in their desirable school districts. Whether it's highly-ranked public schools, prestigious private institutions, access to the University of Alberta or a mix of all three, the presence of quality schools can significantly enhance the desirability and property values of a neighbourhood.

Conversely, many of Edmonton’s newest communities have schools at capacity or no schools whatsoever. While the housing stock in these communities offers new modern homes surrounded by amenities, they can pose a problem for families with school-age children. Often, they’re forced to drive their kids to other schools well beyond their neighbourhood catchment area. 

Tips for Parents: A Checklist for Balancing Housing Costs and School Quality

Finding the perfect balance between housing costs and school quality can be challenging for a parent. You want to provide your child with the best education possible but must also consider your budget and housing needs. 

Here are some tips to help you navigate this important decision:

  1. Research school options: Research Edmonton’s two largest school boards in your chosen areas. Look at school rankings, test scores, and graduation rates. This will give you a good idea of the overall quality of education in the region. Click here to access Edmonton Public School Board's, find a school tool, and click here to access Edmonton Catholic School Board's.
  2. Consider your budget: Take a realistic look at your budget and determine how much you can afford to spend on housing. Keep in mind that homes in areas with highly-rated schools tend to be more expensive. However, some neighbourhoods may offer a good balance of affordability AND quality schools. Need some advice on what schools match your home-buying goals? Click here to connect with us to access Edmonton’s active and off-market MLS listings. 
  3. Explore school choice options: In some areas, school choice programs may allow you to send your child to a school outside of your neighbourhood. This can expand your options and give you more flexibility in finding a home that meets your housing and educational needs.
  4. Look beyond test scores: While important, they shouldn't be the sole factor in your decision. Visit the schools, talk to parents and teachers, and consider other aspects such as extracurricular activities, class sizes, and the overall school culture.
  5. Prioritize your child's needs: Ultimately, you must prioritize what is best for your child's education. Consider their learning style, interests, and any special needs they may have. Remember that every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another.

By carefully considering these factors and finding the right balance between housing costs and school quality, you can make an informed decision that benefits your child and your family's financial situation.

Are you thinking about buying a home in Edmonton? We’ll help you get it right. Never overpay, avoid all the pitfalls and get expert advice from a team with 20+ years of experience. Click here to book a call with a Real Living Expert.


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