October 08, 2020 at 1:38pm | Blair Schwisow
Local news continues to be dominated by Boise public school openings - headed by the hotly debated subject of the advisability of in-classroom learning. The fact that good intentions are present on all sides of the issue hasn't helped us to arrive at a universally agreed-upon plan. That's predictable enough, due in large part to the fact that individual risk tolerances vary greatly - especially when children's safety and welfare is involved. It doesn't help that the data which could help clarify the risk is subject to interpretation - including the complication factor of developmental risks that many experts agree will result from not opening.

The deep concern that this year's school opening has aroused is evidence of something that Boise real estate agent have long known: the importance of schools in the hierarchy of homebuyers' priorities. We have all witnessed how the desirability of a property's Boise school district can be a decisive factor influencing prospective buyers. Early on, database designers reported that the top feature consumers requested was a "search-by-school" capability. That may be because school district maps can change - so relying on mere proximity can be misleading.

Nailing down exact numbers on the importance of public school quality is a difficult task, but Bob Vila's popular home improvement website was able to quote some illuminating research on the topic. It shows that just under 10% of prospective buyers say they would pay 11%-20% above budget to entry to "a desirable" school district. Another 17% say they would pay extra for a home close enough that their kids could walk to and from school.

Realtor.com  finds that when it comes to weighing the relative importance of adult amenities vs. the kids' education, schooling comes out on top. For instance, 62% of buyers say they would choose to locate in "the right school district" over a home spa - and 50% would pass up a highly valued adult favorite: easy access to shopping.

Both buyers and sellers are very well served by keeping in mind the impact Boise school districts can have on a property's value - not just immediately, but downstream, when it comes time to sell to the next family. Call me anytime for experience-based guidance for buying and selling in Boise!


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