Schools Make A Big Difference – Our “Pride” Example – Hunsberger Elementary

blue ribbon logoA Blue Ribbon School sits just outside the gate of ArrowCreek. Ted Hunsberger Elementary does more more for our home values than any golf course does. In Poway, California, they claim good schools make a 50% higher difference in home sale prices!

Here’s the Public School Review June 3, 2014 article: Why You Need to Research School Districts When Buying A Home


Whether you have children or not, researching school districts is a crucial step when buying a new home. If you’re in the market for a new home you better be researching local school districts – it could mean all the difference for your family, whether you have children or not.

When people search for a new home, there are many factors that weigh in on their decision: price, amenities, neighborhood, the square footage, rent or own, new or old, and much more. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting to add another important aspect of home buying to this research list- school districts. Even if you don’t have, or never plan to have school-age children, school districts can still have quite an impact on your home value and living area.

Here are four of the main reasons why the quality of school districts is something that you need to keep in mind when you buy your next home.

1. A Good School District = A Good Neighborhood

All other things constant, a good school district tends to equal a good neighborhood. And when it comes to real estate, the name of the game is location, location, location. Great location can mean safer neighborhoods, abundance of places to eat,ease of access to transportation, proximity to urban, beach or vacation areas, and amenities like public parks and services.

If you do have kids, a good location and good neighborhood are even more important. Just ask John Wetmore, “walking” safety expert and Producer of “Perils for Pedestrians.” “Parents need to consider how their children will get around in the new neighborhood,” John urges. “Will Mom ‘The Chauffeur’ shuttle the kids back and forth to school every morning and afternoon? Or are there sidewalks and crosswalks that enable children to get safely to school on their own?”

2. A Good School District = Home Value Stability

Even in a down market, an excellent school can be the rising tide that lifts all nearby home prices. Homes can go up or down in value based on macro-volatility or local area changes, but a great school district can act as lynchpin for strong values in a given area, and a life preserver when the market is rough.

Kyle Whissel, broker and owner of Whissel Realty in San Diego, says there is a clear relationship between school districts and home values. “There is a very simple correlation between school ratings and home values. Neighborhoods with higher school ratings tend to have higher home values. We are seeing more and more buyers make school district one of the top considerations when deciding on where to buy.”

3. A Good School District = Higher Selling Price

Real estate is by nature a venture that carries with it a certain level of risk and never comes with guarantees. While this is true, you do want to do everything in your power to make sure you get the best that you possibly can for your family. Home buyers should think about resale and building home equity when selecting their new home- even if they do not plan to move in the near future.

Plans get altered, situations change, and a move could come sooner than expected, so do everything in your power to make sure you could get a good resale value for your home- and a good school district is one of the best ways to do this. Not only are the values for these homes higher, but these homes tend to take less time to sell when they hit the market. If you don’t move, you are still in a great position to build long-term equity for your home by buying in a good school district.

​Kyle Whissel of Whissel Realty is an adamant believer of home values in good education areas. “​The Poway Unified School District is renowned for having some of the best schools in San Diego. As a result, we’ve seen home values there rise drastically compared to other neighborhoods with similar homes in age, size and quality. For example. values in Poway are 50% higher than those in Escondido which is a very similar neighborhood all because of the higher school ratings​.”​

Alexis Moore, Real Estate broker with Blackstone Realty Group in El Dorado Hills, California, says that a school district can be a ‘dealbreaker’ when you’re looking to sell your home. “If you need to sell the home in a short period of time…the school district could be a deal breaker and end up costing you money. I know this because it has happened to me and other brokers over the years.”

4. A Good School District = The Best Education for Kids

Last but not certainly least are the benefits of a good school district for parents that do in fact have school-age children. Don’t rely on word-of-mouth and take the research of school districts for granted before taking a leap and making such a big life decision.

Zach Hanebrink, Manager with real estate specialists “Boomtown ROI,” is currently looking for a home in Charleston, and considers school districts a vital part of his search. “Schools are assigned based on where you live. There may be loop holes, magnet or private school opportunities, but neither is a guaranteed option. ​Most families will remain in their home for at least 3 years, and this means your children will be at the assigned school during that time period; getting an education, and making friends.”

Brian Stewart, Education expert and founder of BWS Education Consulting and Free Test Prep, says that parents can consider different options if they have a private school in mind. “If you know that you are going to send your kids to private school, you can save quite a bit of money by purchasing a nicer home in an area that does not have higher school property taxes.”

Brian Stewart also points out that parents should be especially careful if their children have specific learning needs or other interests. “Go beyond the generic reputation of the school if you have kids with unique learning needs. Some schools are much more receptive to accommodating students who need enrichment or remediation. If your child has in-depth extracurricular interests, a larger school is more likely to have a club or activity that your child will enjoy.”

Real estate broker Alexis Moore warns that failing to research school districts can be a huge mistake. “In many states and communities like El Dorado Hills, a home may be situated in one particular district however because of overcrowding children are being bussed up to 2 hours away to attend school. So don’t assume anything. This is a costly mistake because not only does it impact the children but home values. So assume nothing and research first.”

Make the Right Decision

School districts should clearly be on every buyer’s radar whether or not kids are in the picture. The right home should be one where you feel comfortable and in a location that makes sense to you and fits your needs in terms of size, style, condition and price. Consider all the factors and gather as much information as possible and you can ensure you have the best chance of selecting a great home for you or your family. Check out our full list of public school rankings across the U.S. right here on Public School Review.

Related Articles:
National Blue Ribbon School Recognition for Ted Hunsberger Elementary School
National Public School Review of Hunsberger Elementary School

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program

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8 Responses to Schools Make A Big Difference – Our “Pride” Example – Hunsberger Elementary

  1. Heather Power says:

    Any benefits that ArrowCreek receives from having Hunberger as the elementary school we are zoned for are completely negated by the fact that every public middle school option in Reno is at 10 miles away from our community. We moved here within the last 2 years and the middle school situation was definitely in the CON section of deciding to move to Arrowcreek.


  2. Robert Smith says:

    I must admit that I am surprised at the responses to my question – do you have facts to support the claim that Hunsburger Elementary, being a Blue Ribbon School, adds more value to homes in Arrowcreek than any golf course does. My question was a respectful attempt to engage in the thoughtful discussions and become better informed on the drivers that affect home value here in Arrowcreek. My motives are simple – I am a homeowner in Arrowcreek and therefore have vested interest and along with the Arrowcreek homeowners claim to have a common interest. When claims are made, on this blog, it would be helpful to understand the basis and how a claim may affect (positively or negatively) property values within Arrowcreek. When the original blog inferred that at relationship existed between Arrowcreek and other locations, and that good schools add 50% to the value of homes in the school district, I was intrigued.

    At the last ACHOA meeting I sensed an invitation, from the builders of the website, to have Arrowcreek homeowners get involved in Arrowcreek411. Instead of a thoughtful discussion on the merits of one feature over another my request for information was disparaged and attacked. One blog’s discussion gave some condescending, ABC, mathematical logic that did nothing in comparing which adds more value to our Arrowcreek homes – Schools or a golf course. A second blog’s discussion claimed that my choice of words (amenities) was cavalier – really. Maybe features, attributes, or characteristic would have been a better choice. Anyway my intent was to reference two features, out of many, that thoughtful buyers consider when buying a home and not make an offhanded comment about the value of good schools to either Arrowcreek property values or the education of my children or grandchildren.

    The lesson for me here in participating in the Arrowcreek 411 site is: If the purveyors of claims on the blog cannot support the claims with facts, or respect a counter opinion, then they will take to the old strategy of – The best defense is a good offense.

    To cut my diatribe shorter let me add – What difference does it make (a good Clinton quote) if good schools adds more value than a golf course. It doesn’t need to be one or the other. Both can add value to Arrowcreek and all Arrowcreek homeowner benefit.

    This blog’s constant golf course bashing could possibly have the unintended consequence, as discussed at our recent HOA meeting. I suggest waiting to see what the golf course study, commissioned by the ASHOA, concludes regarding circumstances of the Club at Arrowcreek and how Arrowcreek home values may be affected, instead of relying on the 411 conjecture.


    • I’m sorry you feel this way, Rob. I have worked very hard to find articles on line for either position. It is not conjecture just because it doesn’t fall nicely into what you decide is your belief system.

      Personally, I do not want to own a golf course in these times and to pay for it until I die. This is our retirement home. Our dream home. I want to retire. I do not want to have to continue working to pay “my share” of fees and special assessments for someone else to golf at cheap rates and with special privileges. Golfers should pay their own way for something they perceive as a right. Leave me alone to do what I want to do with what is left of my life.

      I challenge you to find an article that shouts “Go own a golf course in 2015!” Find three! Better yet- PLEASE write an article yourself (with references) and I’ll give it its own page and blog here on Arrowcreek411! That’s the problem, Rob. I have looked for pro and con articles on the subject and I’m sharing what I have found. There are a few positive ones on the “Related Articles” page. Most articles today are on how to try to survive. Or they are “golf consultants” advertising how they can turn it around for the owners.

      By all means – if you find the empirical data, I will print it. I am not being confrontational, mean and facetious. I am not touting lies and innuendo. Do the research and write the article you are looking for. I’ll print it.

      And this is not meant as a poke – down at Rob personally. I have truly sought to find both sides of owning a golf course in today’s business environment. If anyone reading this takes the challenge, I will print it. You could probably sell it to one of the golf magazines as well!


    • Ronald Duncan says:

      Thoughtful dialogue and phrasing in e-mail may not be coincident. However, realizing that what is really needed/required are answers, we likely have common ground to pursue.

      Given your lack of comfort with anecdotal analysis and greater comfort with quantitative analysis, the obvious answer is to carry out the ACHOA Board’s direction for a property value study. The study, however, should encompass: a.) the effect of a golf course on a secure view lot designated community (homes both adjacent to the course(s) and those 100 yds or more from the course(s)); b.) the effect of a blue ribbon school on a secure view lot designated community and c.) the absence of 24/7 security on a view lot designated community. This study, which I don’t believe exists today, would likely produce notoriety for a professor and/or a great thesis for a doctoral candidate.

      We’ve all heard stories of the values that compose a great community. In fact some of those came out at the last ACHOA Board meeting. It’s the people and attitudes that make a development a community, not a given feature. ArrowCreek is a great place to live and grow a family and I would certainly encourage people to check it out.

      The “unintended consequence” mentioned at the ACHOA Board is a reality we will all have to live with that until a firm decision is reached by the Board and the community.

      I certainly look forward to a continuing dialogue and hope the property value study goes to completion.
      Ron Duncan


  3. Also, the article about St. Louis claimed a 50% increase. Not going to dicker with percentages here since the golf percentage started out at 40% and is currently being mentioned at 5-10%. It will be interesting to see what the completed surveys tell us about ArrowCreek.


  4. Robert Smith says:

    I did not find in this article, or any linked article, any empirical data/analysis that supports your leading hypotheses that: “A Blue Ribbon School sits just outside the gate of ArrowCreek. Ted Hunsberger Elementary does more more for our home values than any golf course does.” In fact I did not find the word golf or golf course mentioned anywhere. Therefore I am not sure how you can conclude one amenity, a Blue Ribbon School, adds more value to our Arrowcreek homes than another amenity, The Club at Arrowcreek, without having supporting, factually based data.

    If you can explain how you concluded that Hunsburger Elementary adds more value to my Arrowcreek property than the Club at Arrowcreek, I would appreciate it.

    Thanks you. Robert Smith


    • I am using the same logic as those who think the ArrowCreek Golf Course brings higher value to all our homes.

      Logical Mathematical conclusions in the making:
      Therefore A=C+D

      Hunsberger Elementary (A) is (=) a Blue Ribbon School (B): A=B

      Blue Ribbon Schools (B) are (=) sought after by parents and others (See bold paragraph under reason #3)(C) and (+) bring more comparable dollars to the home sale price (See AWARD WINNING SCHOOLS INFLUENCE ON REAL ESTATE PROPERTY VALUES article pages 4-5)(D): B=C+D;

      Therefore Hunsberger School (A) is (=) sought after (C) and (+) brings higher value to our homes (D):


    • Ronald Duncan says:

      Amenities is certainly being used in a cavalier sense. The golf club is certainly a private feature of ArrowCreek but not in the realm of an amenity. Hunsberger, sitting just outside of our gate, is also not an amenity as it’s not within the perimeter of our gated development. However, it’s not clear whether you’re unfamiliar with the value of an outstanding school for your children/grand children or just want numbers.
      The evidence for outstanding schools is voluminous. For instance, Palo Alto’s schools are outstanding and look at home values there versus their next door neighbor Mountain View, CA. Neither community has golf as a feature. The Palo Alto area is highly prized. In fact, when one looks at all of the neighborhoods within the Hunsberger zone, all of the property values exceed those of more northern schools in Washoe County.
      We’ve had friends who’ve looked at ArrowCreek, due to security and the school, as potential re-location homes. It certainly wasn’t to have a view of a golf course.
      Hopefully the study commissioned by the ACHOA Board will assist all of us in grasping the drivers of home values in ArrowCreek and not just narrowly focus on a golf course that doesn’t affect the majority of properties.
      Ron Duncan


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