Hamilton Herald Masthead Hamilton Herald


Front Page - Friday, April 7, 2017

School quality, changes can impact home values

Of the variety of factors that affect home values, one of the largest influencers is schools.

Test scores, graduation rates, facility age, the breadth of advanced placement classes, attendance rates, parental involvement, athletics – the list of factors which push a school’s rating up or down is extensive and constantly growing. Our society has become increasingly transparent, and these criteria are easier to see than ever before.

Homes zoned for schools that fare more favorably in these areas demand a higher price and tend to sell faster than comparable homes in other areas. There are examples across our market where it’s as obvious as the homes located on the different sides of a street; different school zones mean different prices.

Buyers who don’t have school-aged children might not automatically take school zoning into consideration in their decision making. This author would suggest that all buyers at least investigate the zoned schools in which a home is located, as this might affect its future resell.

It should come as no surprise that when the topic of redistricting comes up, home owners and parents take notice. In recent years, as leaders considered redrawing the boundary lines on the eastern side of Hamilton County, there was public outcry. The concerns came from both parents whose children were being affected and home owners who feared their property values would be diminished.

I’m bringing this topic to the forefront not to cast blame or point a negative finger at any of our local school board members, central office leadership or educators. Just the opposite. My objective is to underscore the need for quality schools throughout our market area is in everyone’s best interest.

Currently in Hamilton County, a committee is in place searching for a new superintendent and the County Commission is working with the School Board to tackle a reported $200 million dollars in deferred building maintenance. These are two big issues which face the system both in the short and long term. Are you informed on what’s being done to tackle these issues?

To keep the Realtor members up-to-date on the status and future plans of Hamilton County’s schools, Dr. Kirk Kelly, interim superintendent, spoke to GCAR’s membership on April 5. His presentation was thorough and members left well informed. If you are interested in the details, ask your favorite GCAR member for a personal update.

An experienced and informed Realtor can guide you through all phases of the home ownership process, including pointing you in the right direction to learn about the schools in your area. Again, quality schools affect all home owners.

The Greater Chattanooga Association of REALTORS is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. The Association is a regional organization with more than 1,700 members and is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors.

GCAR services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. Go to www.GCAR.net for more information.