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KYW Regional Affairs Council

“Home Sweet School”

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – What’s househunting like when you’re looking for a family home?

Sean O’Shea says looking for a new home with a wife and three young children is very different from househunting when you are single or a young couple.

“It’s not about you!” he says with a smile.

“We loved the area, we loved the neighborhood, we weren’t looking into school districts at the time,” recalls Ross Berkowitz, now the father of a toddler.

And both men say that these days, family househunting is tied very closely with research into elementary schools.

“There are a few school districts that have better reputations. We’re looking for classroom size, meeting the teachers,” notes Berkowitz.

(Kuznits:)  “And this is all part of the house hunt?”

(Berkowitz:)  “Yeah, now it has to be.”

“God bless technology — the Internet is amazing,” says O’Shea, who points out that lots of information about local schools is now available online.

And O’Shea has seen how the quality of a school impacts the cost of homes nearby — and other related expenses.

“Well, certainly the prices were higher of the particular houses, but I wouldn’t say that the house price was the big deterrent.  Actually, it was amazing to see how high the taxes were,” O’Shea told KYW Newsradio.

Berkowitz says there are noticeable differences in the price of houses located in a so-called “good” school districts versus those that are not.  So where will he and his wife Audrey choose to live when their daughter is ready for school?

“It really has to do with if we have a second child,” Berkowitz says.  “With one child we feel we could afford private school. With two children or more, that would not really be an option.”

Reported by Hadas Kuznits, KYW Newsradio 1060

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