Should I Buy a Home In a Good School District Even If I Don’t Have Kids?

5 12 2007

Perhaps you’ve heard this before: Buy a home in a good school district even if you don’t have kids.  There’s no doubt those who choose to live in a good school district pay a premium in the form higher property taxes. So, is it really a good strategy to follow?

YES, so long as you can afford the higher taxes. Even if living near exemplary schools is not a priority for you, still consider the strength of the schools in the area in which you are searching. Generally, homes in a good school district, enjoy the benefit of healthier appreciation and less time on the market when it’s time to sell (assuming the price and condition are not more than the market will bear).

On the other hand, by purchasing in a less-reputable school district, it’s likely you will have reduced the pool of buyers down the road, namely, families searching for a home near quality schools.  


Great Schools is an excellent place to start. There you can browse the top-rated public and private schools in Austin, as well as, compare schools near a particular address or school district. In addition, you can find the most recent Accountability Ratings, which measure how well schools and districts within Austin are performing. Lastly, the site provides a useful platform for parents to hear what other parents have to say about their child’s experience in a particular school or district.

Here are the  Top-Rated Elementary Schools in the Austin Independent School District  for 2007.

  • Mills Elementary

  • Casis Elementary

  • Highland Park Elementary

  • Baranoff Elementary

  • Hill Elementary

  • Gullett Elementary

  • Kiker Elementary

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The INHABIT INDEX: How to Know When It’s a Buyer’s or Seller’s Market?

22 10 2007


First it’s important to know the definition of both market conditions. In a sincere attempt to avoid insulting anyone’s intelligence, a buyer’s market is characterized by supply outpacing demand. In other words, there are too many homes on the market for the number of buyers. Typically, we see the following in a buyer’s market: 

  1. Flexibility in negotiating price.
  2. Added seller concessions (closing costs, repairs, etc.)

Conversely, a seller’s market is characterized by an insufficient level of supply for the ready, willing and able buyers. In a seller’s market, it’s common to see this happening: 

  1. Multiple offers.
  2. Shortened time on the market.

Regardless of when or where you want to move, generally the market is trending in one of two directions defined above. Yet, it is possible for the market to be stagnating in transition, which is all the more reason buyers and sellers need to anticipate which way the market will move. More specifically, you should have a clear understanding for which direction the particular neighborhood that you’re searching or selling in is trending. The real estate market is not monolithic. Some neighborhoods outperform others (see below).

Markets constantly fluctuate. Unfortunately, by the time we read about it in the paper, it’s already history. So apart from negotiating transactions on a regular basis how can you remain informed and know if Austin is presently a buyer’s or seller’s market? How can you know which way things are headed? (faint drum roll) ….Behold, the INHABIT INDEX. I developed and routinely update this index for my clients to easily gauge how supply and demand is faring in the Austin, Texas real estate market. Here’s how it works.

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