One of the factors that prospective home buyers consider important in a property is the quality of local schools. Younger buyers who are not yet parents may also be concerned about the quality of schools in an area where they intend to remain. Before entering into a purchase contract, potential home buyers can confirm what school options are available for a home listed for sale.
Your real estate agent is the best source for initial information about both school districts and specific schools. Information on schools is usually provided along with other home attributes such as number of rooms and square footage. However, there are several online search tools provided by the U.S. Department of Education that may provide additional details on both public and private schools.
The Department of Education provides separate lookup tools for public school districts and specific public schools. Each district is likely to include multiple schools. Although district information may not be as pertinent as specific school information, the data for the district can provide insight into some of the issues confronting school district administrators.
The district information provides a list of individual schools, but the most direct method to find specific schools is through the lookup tool for public schools. Note that the entry box for street addresses is for the address of a school, not the address of a residence. At minimum, users of the search tool should enter a state, a zip code, and a distance. As such, your research results may still need to be refined further.
All of the homes within a particular zip code are not necessarily in the same school district. A phone call to the main office of a school district or a school facility may be all that is needed to confirm that a specific address is within their boundaries. Although public schools have clearly defined attendance boundaries, there is more flexibility in schools that receive no tax revenue.
The Department of Education also provides an online search tool for private schools. Depending on the location of a home, the transportation route to a private school might be longer than a trip to the nearest public school. Students are likely to engage in after-school activities, so the distance from home to school is an important factor to consider when comparing school options.
When personally contacting a school, you may receive an invitation to attend an event that allows you to interact with teachers or parents. If so, your final decision to select a particular home might hinge largely on having found the right school.