Post # 1
My FI and I grew up right outside the city and we are hoping to buy a house around the same area. I work in the city and he works right outside of it so it makes sense for us to stay close. We both do not want a long commute for work. However, staying this close doesn’t put us near the best school systems. We actually aren’t even thinking about schools as we shop around for a home. We don’t have kids.
Some other couples we know that are lately married are determined to move out into the suburbs just for the school systems. They don’t have children yet.
Should I consider schools in the area even if I am not close to having children?
Our parents did not purchase our homes based on school systems. FI and I grew up in close towns of each other and we didn’t grow up with the best schools but I feel like we did okay for ourselves.
Should this be something to consider looking into? If we do have children, they wouldn’t be starting school for a good eight years. Please, some advise for a soon to be homeowner.
Post # 3
Will this be your first home? Most first time home owners don’t live in their “starter homes” for 8 years. I estimate we’ll probably be in ours for 3-5 years and then upgrade. If children are not in the near future then I wouldn’t let the school system determine the area you live in. If children were in the picture then absolutely.
I spent the first 1/2 of my school years living just outside NYC. I went to a very expensive private school which could have been avoided if we lived in a different area. The other 1/2 was spent in Upstate, NY where I attended public school. My school district was (maybe still is?) one of the best in the state and it was free (well except for taxes).
The town that FI and I live in now is amazing but it doesn’t have its own school system. Should we have had kids, our kids would be going to school in the next town over which is not so great. We actually wouldn’t have even sent our kids there, we would pay for private school. Thankfully kids are still atleast 6 years away for us so we have plenty of time to make those decisions.
Post # 4
@SoontobeMsL:Why would your kids not start school for eight years? Pre-K starts at age 4. I live in an area with a wonderful public school system but it is not the most chic, young social area. When we decide to move from our current home to something larger, it should sale in no time because of the highly desired high school.
Post # 5
Hmmm…I think it depends on how long you plan to live there and when you plan to have kids. I think if you’re looking at houses thinking “this would make a nice nursery” and “this is a great yard for kids to play in” then it makes sense to also consider the school system. Quite frankly I hadn’t even thought about it, so don’t feel like you’re alone. But we’re not there yet.
Post # 6
School systems are so important to me. I don’t know if we will be having children, but when we purchase, we will make this a priority just in case. I had HORRIBLE schools in the countryside where we lived and I would never do that to my children. It really affects/ would affect a large part of their life.
Post # 7
@Soladylike: I think the OP means that they are not ready for children yet… and if they do decide to start a family then by the time the children are school age it will be around 8 years from now.
Post # 8
This will be our starter home so I am assuming that when I do have children and it is time for them to start school, my thoughts will be different on the matter. I’ll probably want a house in the suburbs with a good school system.
I just always have the work commute in the back of my head.
Sometimes, you can’t get both.
Post # 9
I have to agree with the PP who asked how long you plan on staying in the town your looking at moving too. If you thinking its going to be a permanent thing then most definetly look into the schools. If not then theres no need to worry if kids are far out into the future.
Being a mother myself, I am very much into the school systems in my area. I know for a fact I don’t want to send my son to the school district where we currently live and I think about this often. This is just a thought; if you find a town that you love but you don’t hear the greatest things about the schools, ask if the nearby towns around you have a thing called “School of choice”. This is where districts will allow children from nearby cities to attend their school. Usually schools will do this to up their student count thus, recieve more money from the state. The school I attended as a child was one of the top in the state and once they started doing ‘school of choice’ their student population grew so much that they had to stop. So keep an eye and ear open for those kinds of things.
Even though kids are far off in the future, its never too early to start planning! =)
Post # 10
I wouldn’t really think about it much. You could move when you have kids. Or if you stay there you could just send your kids to private school.
Post # 11
@noodlefish:Oh okay…I didn’t know if she was going to home school.
Post # 12
@soontobemsL, hii! From this post I guess it didnt work out with the house you put an offer on a few months back? (I’m not a stalker, I promise! I just happen to remember fellow Bostonians-especially house hunting ones since I just went through the same thing)
For me, schools were at the top of my priority list, but FI and I both work far outside the city so that help. But I’m also planning on having kids within 2-3 years. I know some people who thought kids were far enough in the future that they did not take having kids into consideration when they bought their home and had planned on moving before kids, but the market changed, and plans changed, and now they are stuck in a less than ideal system for their kids and trying desprately to move. Keep in mind that jobs may move also.
Post # 13
- Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country
I always thought that that’s something that I wanted to strongly consider, but my husband made me realize that it’s virtually pointless if you don’t actually have a child right NOW.
You could move into a town with an AMAZING school system right now…but you probably won’t have a child in it for 5-6 years…and then they’ll be in high school what…15 years from now??? Schools and populations change, dramatically.
Case in point—my husband is from a suburb that had AMAZING schools when he was in school. Much of it was because the town was FULL of young families…it was a new suburb of a major city at the time. The town and schools won accolades all around when he was in school. Lots of young parents=lots of school interest, and money put into the schools.
Now, that town is very different. All the children have grown up and moved away. Schools are closing because the population is older. It’s still a great town…just an older/different town than when he lived there. When people vote, they don’t always vote with the schools in mind, because they have different needs/interests…their children have moved away, and they’re closer to retirement, that kind of stuff.
You have to consider the fact, ESPECIALLY in suburbia, that populations change dramatically. If you’re moving somewhere urban, the population is somewhat steadfast. But especially in these “new” towns that popped up with the housing boom, it’s simply impossible to know what schools will be like 5-10 years down the road, and almost pointless to choose one place over another because of their current school system.
Post # 14
For us it was a consideration, but not something we based our final decision on. We dont have children yet and plan to sell the house in 7-10 years. By that time our future children will probably be school age. At that point, school system will most likely be a deciding factor in our home search. Unfortunetly, due to our budget we couldn’t “have it all” with our first home and we are ok with that.
Post # 15
I think its something to consider if not for you and your future children but for potential buyers.
That said, I agree with Penguin, schools and populations do change. However, I think some of the most struggling schools are not quickly turned around. If there is a really bad school that your house is zoned for now, more than likely its not going to be a stellar school when you either have kids or go to sell the house in 8 years. Maybe shoot for something mediocre?
Post # 16
FI and I both grew up in the Boston suburbs in great school systems, and now we’re buying our first place…but we can’t afford a house in our hometowns. I feel you on the long commute, too!
In order to get the space we wanted, we sacrificed a lot, including the school system. We both figured now was a good time to buy, but we can’t afford our forever home. We’re totally buying a starter, and not thinking about having kids for about 5 years–so it’s about 8-9 years before we’ll have to worry about the school system. Hopefully by then we can afford an upgrade, especially since we’re investing in real estate now.