Relocating to Seattle: Home Prices (King County only) by School District – I’ll start with the graphs:
I spent a considerable amount of time this weekend working on home prices by school district for a woman on the East Coast who is hoping to move to Seattle with her family.
My conversation with her touched on something that is very common, though not talked about much on real estate blogs. The reality that husbands and wives often disagree on priorities. Consequently you end up with a “want” list that can be near impossible to fill as in: wife wants a new kitchen and new baths in the best school for the children. Husband wants a single family home with at least four bedrooms and a yard for $350,000 or less.
It is very difficult, if near impossible, to search by school district on the internet. Narrowing it down to specific schools in a school district is even harder.
I started a series of posts by calculating the price variance of homes in six school districts. At the onset I eliminated homes over a million dollars and homes with lake or mountain views, and came up with these results as shown in the middle graph above. In order to evaluate where prices are currently vs. in previous years, I used March, April and May stats back to 2005, as I can’t search by school district prior to late February of 2005 as is explained in the linked post.
Next, I took the same timeframes but stuck the median of the three months combined (vs. separately) for each of those years as shown in the last graph in this post and explained HERE.
The 2009 data in the second graph above peaked my curiosity regarding the consistent spread between school districts seeming to go haywire in 2009, with half the school district home prices turning up and half turning down. While that may appear to be the market being “flat”, in reality UP vs DOWN does not equal “flat” to most home buyers and sellers, as they don’t get to average the two when buying or selling a specific home. That led me to this post and the graph below, to sort out median price changes from December of 08 to present.
Remember, these are school districts vs. cities, so part of Bellevue is in BE (Bellevue School District) and part of Bellevue is in LKW (Lake Washington School District). ISS is Issaquah School District, not the “mailing address” of Issaquah.
Given the recent inconsistencies, I moved to find a like kind product that fulfilled the “4 bedroom with yard” parameters of a family with a couple of children hoping to buy “a single family home $350,000 or less” in most of the available school districts, and came up with the split-enty or bi-level home (not split level home) described in this post. It has long been one of my favorites for “More Bang For Your Buck” and as the first graph shows, the same house can be had at different prices in various school districts.
The first graph tells you a lot. If you want the house with lots of upgrades for around $350,000, you more likely can get that where the median price for that style is in the $350,000 or less range. If you choose a school district where that home normally sells for much more than $350,000, you can still get that house, but you might have to sacrifice that newer kitchen or newer bathrooms as a trade off for the school you choose.
There is always a lot of controversy when discussing schools and which may be better or best. Consequently you don’t see much of that discussion anymore. The reality is that people who are relocating from thousands of miles away, look at homes on the internet, AND they try to choose schools using the internet.
Hopefully all of the data I put together will help one Mom and Dad sitting in DC with their current decision making process. As is my practice as a real estate blogger, I try to show you how I work for each client or potential client, and give you the benefit of seeing my thought process and the underlying data.
Last but not least…I know it isn’t Sunday :), but I try to tag all of my stat related posts here on Rain City Guide as “Sunday Night Stats” and on my blog as “Tracking the Market” so that people who like to follow those posts as a category, can do that via a one click link on both sites.
Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day Weekend!
(required disclosure) Stats are not compiled, verified or posted by NWMLS