Finding a good school is at the top of many parents' priority lists when looking for a new home.
Investing in properties in a good local school district can increase the demand from renters, which allows you to charge higher rent and avoid empty periods between tenants.
One advantage of making local versus out-of-town investments is that you're more likely to be familiar with your own local school district.
However, there are ways to gather all the information you need about school districts in unfamiliar locations. Here are a few tips to follow when looking to learn more about an area's school districts.
Check the U.S. Department of Education Website
The U.S. Department of Education website should be the first resource you use to research local school districts.
The School District Demographics System provides information about each school district in the country, allowing you to easily compare regions.
Try the State's Department of Education
Most states compile their own ranking systems for public schools.
Check your state's Department of Education website, or get in touch with the department directly to ask for the data.
Use School Comparison Websites
Many sites offer free information about school districts.
Head to SchoolDigger.com to get a useful overview of the schools in a particular district.
This site provides lists of the best schools and school districts in a state, which is especially helpful if you are looking to make an out-of-town property investment in a good local school district.
You can find details about school districts with GreatSchools.org.
This school comparison website gives each district a rating out of 10, which is based on the school's test results.
GreatSchools also includes links to listings of homes for sale in each area, which makes it easy to move onto the next stage of your property investment plan.
Check Individual Schools
Many parents send their child to the nearest school to their home.
Therefore, you should check out the closest school to the property you want to buy to ensure that it is a high-quality educational establishment.
Alternatively, you can find out which school is the most highly regarded in the district and look for properties close to it.
SchoolMatters.com is a useful site for checking out information about individual schools.
This site allows you to compare test scores, student-teacher ratios, and parental ratings for up to three schools at a time.
Read Local Newspapers
Local newspapers often run stories about area schools, which can give you an up-to-date picture of what is going on in a local school district.
These stories often appear after state educational report cards are issued and can influence parents' views of each school.
Searching local news websites for recent stories can alert you to recent events that could make a particular school more or less popular among home renters with children.
Ask Your Real Estate Agent
Many real estate agents gather information about local schools.
If you work with an agent to help you find an investment property, he/she is likely to also be a valuable source of information about local educational facilities.
When purchasing an investment property, it is important to look at all aspects of the area that could be potential draws for renters, including school districts.
With a little research, you can locate a property that will be especially appealing to renters with school-aged children, and this will help you keep your property consistently occupied.
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