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Q re buying houses

would you buy a house in a bad school district - if it was a great house/good price and you didn't have kids and didn't intend to move for 20+ years?
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Re: Q re buying houses

  • If it was in a good neighborhood, then yes. My older son goes to private and so will Ava so the school district wouldn't really matter to me.
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  • I wouldn't. Just because you don't plan on moving for at least 20 years, doesn't mean unexpected things won't happen (divorce, moving for job, moving to take care of parents) and you may have a hard time selling it.
  • Yup, I would. My parents are looking to move sometime in the next few years and they know regardless of what happens its almost 100% set that my nephew will either go private or my mom will homeschool him, so they are looking at areas and not paying attention to school districts.

    There's a reason why a lot of people end up retiring to some counties on the Eastern Shore - the public school systems aren't necessarily that good, so people move there once they no longer need the school systems.

    Also, as my brother and SIL are discussing moving back here from Minnesota, they are also not worried about school systems bc they will likely send the kids to private schools.

    Now, there IS a difference between a bad school district and a "bad area."

    My only big concern would be resale value, but if they aren't planning on moving for 20+ years, then they'll likely make a nice profit anyway.

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  • Yes. If you don't have kids why worry about the school system?
  • Yes. And I can't imagine why someone in that position wouldn't. But I am desperate to move, so maybe that clouds my opinion.
  • My gut says no, because I would assume that a bad school district isn't exactly indicative of a *good* area.  But that's a completely uneducated instinct, so I'd have to do research into other potential issues before truly making a decision.
  • I am torn because I REALLY want to move as well, but want my children (when I have them) to have a good education.  But, if a great house came up but it wasn't a great school district I would probably take the house.
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  • If I could afford private school and the area itself was good, then yes.

    For instance - I'm not a fan of Annapolis High School, but there are amazing homes and areas of Annapolis that are in the AHS district.

    DH and I are hoping to move into the Broadneck or Severna Park school districts, but when we move back to AACo., depending on what we find in Annapolis (we're looking in Annapolis, Arnold, and Severna Park), we'll re-evaluate to see what private schools we can afford and whether we think we'll move before our kids begin middle school.

    There are some good elementary schools in the AHS district, so I tend to think that as you move into the older grades, the school district is more of a concern as the school options become narrower (i.e., E could go to a great elementary school if we're living in a great area, but be zoned for Annapolis High, which is not so great, IMO).

  • when we bought our house in 2005-no kids, no immediate plans for kids, I barely even thought about the school district. But as everyone knows your situation can change fast.  I think the key question is are kids a remote possibility? Or definitely not?

    And the resale potential is something to consider too. a LOT of people will immediately rule a place out if it is not in a desirable school district.

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  • When we bought in Columbia, being in a good school district was important to us. We don't plan on having kids, but for resale value. My gut also says no, but if they don't plan on moving for a very long time then it is probably fine (if the area itself isn't "bad").
  • I guess my only hesitation would be the unknown factors that could force you to move. What if you both lose your jobs, or one person, what if you get pg unplanned, what if you find another house you love 5, 10 yrs down the road? The resale value on the house, or lack of it, would hurt you then and it would likely take you longer to sell then comps in nicer school districts.

    Also, part of me thinks a lot of times, but surely not always, the areas where the school districts are bad aren't that nice themselves. We have friends who bought an awesome house with a huge yard in a certain area that is not very nice, their house is great and their neighbors are awesome, but they drive 20 min to grocery shop and run errands just to feel safe. Personally, I don't want to live on a nice street but have high crime or bad areas two or three streets away. I would like to walk the dogs in a 5 mile radius or run in a 15 mile radius and not worry about my safety. Plus, as my poor SIL is learning, if your street and/or neighborhood is nice but surrounded by bad areas, those people are likely going to come break into your house or car since what's inside holds more value than the ones on their own street. (Hopefully that makes sense) Again, it's not all areas, and I wouldn't 100% not do it, but those would just be my hesitations.

  • image lauraanddave:

    If I could afford private school and the area itself was good, then yes.

    For instance - I'm not a fan of Annapolis High School, but there are amazing homes and areas of Annapolis that are in the AHS district.

    DH and I are hoping to move into the Broadneck or Severna Park school districts, but when we move back to AACo., depending on what we find in Annapolis (we're looking in Annapolis, Arnold, and Severna Park), we'll re-evaluate to see what private schools we can afford and whether we think we'll move before our kids begin middle school.

    There are some good elementary schools in the AHS district, so I tend to think that as you move into the older grades, the school district is more of a concern as the school options become narrower (i.e., E could go to a great elementary school if we're living in a great area, but be zoned for Annapolis High, which is not so great, IMO).

    I know what you mean! DH went to AHS and when we were looking for houses, he was like "there is no way I would send my kids there". And all those amazing houses in Annapolis, well those people are all loaded and I guarantee all their kids go to private school!

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  • Two points to add:

     1) how old are these people? I wouldn't move to an area with a bad school district (says the girl who wants to move back to the city, haha, so I guess that makes zero sense) but my parents or my aunt (who no longer has kids in public school) totally would.  They are not going to get pregnant, they all have secure jobs/are about to retire, etc. - so a lot of those "x factors" are removed.  For myself, those "x factors" are more of an issue.

    2) there's a difference between a "bad school district" and a bad school, like Laura pointed out.  I don't think I'd move to an area that flat out had bad schools, but you could live in Montgomery County and be districted to a less-than-desirable school.

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  • Probably not - but that's because we plan on having kids in the next 2-3 years, and even though that means 6+ years before we have to worry about school I'd rather not just assume that we'll be in a position to look for a new home at that time.
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  • image mrs. remy <3:

    when we bought our house in 2005-no kids, no immediate plans for kids, I barely even thought about the school district. But as everyone knows your situation can change fast.  I think the key question is are kids a remote possibility? Or definitely not?

    And the resale potential is something to consider too. a LOT of people will immediately rule a place out if it is not in a desirable school district.

     

    This is exactly us! When I bought my condo, I didn't even consider the schools. Now, we are looking to start a family, but we want to move, so that is a big factor for me. Personally I would love to move back to Mont county for the great schools, but we can't afford it. If we move out of state, schools will be a big decider and we would consider private.

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  • just to put some context - this is my former co-worker and his boyfriend.  The boyfriend is loaded and is a nationally famous doctor who has a specialty practice in DC (there no chance of him becoming unemployed).  My ex-coworker doesn't work - he's househusband now.  They sold their DC townhouse and bought a gorgeous single family house in Hyattsville/PG county.  They don't plan to have kids and the house is really nice, huge landscaped backyard, tons of room, etc. but I wouldn't live in PG if I could avoid it. 
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  • image mrs. remy <3:
    image lauraanddave:

    If I could afford private school and the area itself was good, then yes.

    For instance - I'm not a fan of Annapolis High School, but there are amazing homes and areas of Annapolis that are in the AHS district.

    DH and I are hoping to move into the Broadneck or Severna Park school districts, but when we move back to AACo., depending on what we find in Annapolis (we're looking in Annapolis, Arnold, and Severna Park), we'll re-evaluate to see what private schools we can afford and whether we think we'll move before our kids begin middle school.

    There are some good elementary schools in the AHS district, so I tend to think that as you move into the older grades, the school district is more of a concern as the school options become narrower (i.e., E could go to a great elementary school if we're living in a great area, but be zoned for Annapolis High, which is not so great, IMO).

    I know what you mean! DH went to AHS and when we were looking for houses, he was like "there is no way I would send my kids there". And all those amazing houses in Annapolis, well those people are all loaded and I guarantee all their kids go to private school!

    I'm with your DH! I went to private elementary school (for Navy kids, so not uber exclusive or anything, ha) and when it came time for middle school, all of my other friends were zoned for Annapolis High School, so they all wound up going to private schools.

    There were like 4 of us who were in Arnold (me) or the Broadneck district of Annapolis, so we all went public.

    That's where DH and I are now - we can either move into the AHS district and plan to leave in 5 years, budget for private school now, or stay here in the city a bit longer (but move before it's time for elementary school) while we search for a home in the Broadneck or Severna Park district.

    AHS does have a good IB program, but your kids are still in school with kids from Robinwood and those other crappy areas off Forest Drive and stuff. As mean as that sounds...

  •  

    Ditto a lot of what Laura and Mrs. Remy said- but I went to private school and live in Annapolis.  Our elementary school is good, but E. will most likely go private for middle and/or high school.  AHS is "Yale or Jail." 

    Bay Ridge is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Annapolis and it's in a bad school district- still it's tough to find a livable home in that neighborhood for under $850k and that's being generous- I would say the majority of the homes go for ~1M.  

    So my answer is yes.  Even if they did find a baby on their doorstep or decide to adopt or something it sounds like they could afford private school anyway. 

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  • image KathrynMD:
    just to put some context - this is my former co-worker and his boyfriend.  The boyfriend is loaded and is a nationally famous doctor who has a specialty practice in DC (there no chance of him becoming unemployed).  My ex-coworker doesn't work - he's househusband now.  They sold their DC townhouse and bought a gorgeous single family house in Hyattsville/PG county.  They don't plan to have kids and the house is really nice, huge landscaped backyard, tons of room, etc. but I wouldn't live in PG if I could avoid it. 

    In this case, no I wouldn't. I used to work very close to there and I hated running to the gas station, grocery store for lunch, the closest party supply store, I hated it. Our company had to hire a second full time security company because so many cars were stolen or broken into in our parking lot. I went to Giant one day and saw a Police chase complete with the guys shooting at the cop cars and vice versa, my car was broken into in the 15 min I was inside a Kinko's, it's honestly just not worth it to me. Sure they can send a kid to private school, should they have one, but not being able to run simple errands or take the dogs for long walks is just not worth it to me. 

  • Heck yes! DH and I are planning to buy in a year or two and honestly the school system rating isn't even on our radar. For one, we don't plan on having kids for quite a few years. Two, poor school ratings don't worry me. There's so much more to a child's education than what's involved in the classroom setting.

    Plus, for anyone who is that concerned there is always the private school route. 

  • I would.  

    If you didn't buy a house in that neighborhood and chose a house in a "good school district," there is no guarantee that by the time you have kids, it will still be a good school area.  

    There are other options available, if you are still not happy with the schools by the time you have children.

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  • image MrsNDM:

    image KathrynMD:
    just to put some context - this is my former co-worker and his boyfriend.  The boyfriend is loaded and is a nationally famous doctor who has a specialty practice in DC (there no chance of him becoming unemployed).  My ex-coworker doesn't work - he's househusband now.  They sold their DC townhouse and bought a gorgeous single family house in Hyattsville/PG county.  They don't plan to have kids and the house is really nice, huge landscaped backyard, tons of room, etc. but I wouldn't live in PG if I could avoid it. 

    In this case, no I wouldn't. I used to work very close to there and I hated running to the gas station, grocery store for lunch, the closest party supply store, I hated it. Our company had to hire a second full time security company because so many cars were stolen or broken into in our parking lot. I went to Giant one day and saw a Police chase complete with the guys shooting at the cop cars and vice versa, my car was broken into in the 15 min I was inside a Kinko's, it's honestly just not worth it to me. Sure they can send a kid to private school, should they have one, but not being able to run simple errands or take the dogs for long walks is just not worth it to me. 

    Yeah, in this case I would not either. There's a big difference between a bad school district and a bad area crimewise.

  • image MrsNDM:

    image KathrynMD:
    just to put some context - this is my former co-worker and his boyfriend.  The boyfriend is loaded and is a nationally famous doctor who has a specialty practice in DC (there no chance of him becoming unemployed).  My ex-coworker doesn't work - he's househusband now.  They sold their DC townhouse and bought a gorgeous single family house in Hyattsville/PG county.  They don't plan to have kids and the house is really nice, huge landscaped backyard, tons of room, etc. but I wouldn't live in PG if I could avoid it. 

    In this case, no I wouldn't. I used to work very close to there and I hated running to the gas station, grocery store for lunch, the closest party supply store, I hated it. Our company had to hire a second full time security company because so many cars were stolen or broken into in our parking lot. I went to Giant one day and saw a Police chase complete with the guys shooting at the cop cars and vice versa, my car was broken into in the 15 min I was inside a Kinko's, it's honestly just not worth it to me. Sure they can send a kid to private school, should they have one, but not being able to run simple errands or take the dogs for long walks is just not worth it to me. 

    I think it depends on where in Hyattsville they are located.  There are TONS of UMD profs that live in very nice neighborhoods in Hyattsville.  Several of DH's classmates/profs live there and I've never felt unsafe when we were there.  If I were them in this case- I would buy.

    Now, the profs who have kids...many of them live in Ellicott City/Columbia/Clarksville for the school districts.

  • I think for me it would really depend on the location.  Even setting aside the chances that you never know what could happen and you might have to sell, I would want to be somewhere that I felt safe and enjoyed the community.

    I don't know Hyattsville well but I typically wouldn't want to live in PG county, but then again if doctor works in DC, I can understand not wanting to live so far away that the commute is horrible.

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  • image ashnedh:

    I think it depends on where in Hyattsville they are located.  There are TONS of UMD profs that live in very nice neighborhoods in Hyattsville.  Several of DH's classmates/profs live there and I've never felt unsafe when we were there.  If I were them in this case- I would buy.

    Totally agree with this.  My sister lived in Hyatsville for a year and when she told me she was moving there I was REALLY paranoid.  Her house ended up being in this BEAUTIFUL neighborhood just off campus behind a police station.  It was like a gem that I had no idea would have existed had she not moved there.

    If that were me I'd never move there in a million years because I really just do not like that area.  WAY too busy and while some neighborhoods are nice, the surrounding areas aren't necessarily all that great.

  • Yes, I hope to have our kids go through private school so the public schools would be no concern to me.

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