KYW Regional Affairs Council

“Home Sweet School”


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Good schools seem to go hand in hand with the value of real estate.

Ross Berkowitz, the father of a toddler, says good schools mean more expensive housing.  In fact, he’s noticed that if a school district is desirable, the real estate agent representing the buyer already knows it.

“It says that front and center,” Berkowitz says of property listings near good schools.  “If the house is anywhere else, the school district is generally not mentioned.”

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(Paul Levy. Photo provided)

Paul Levy (right), CEO of the Center City District, says healthy housing markets are those neighborhoods that appeal to people at all stages of their life and don’t just cater specifically to, for example, singles or empty-nesters.

“You can have wonderful looking housing, but if the school is the place that nobody wants to go to, you won’t have a generation of people raising children,” Levy tells KYW Newsradio.

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(Forrest Huffman. Photo provided)

Forrest Huffman (right), a professor of real estate and finance at Temple University, says a successful real estate area usually correlates to the boundary of an attractive school district.

“When schools set their boundaries of eligible enrollment, people who would like to attend that school have to be in those boundaries, and they’ll go and bid up the prices of the houses if necessary to get there,” Huffman explains.

For Berkowitz, the husband and father, that sentiment rings true.

“One of the things for us, education is that important. Cost is a factor, but it’s one of the things we will pay for over almost anything else.”

Thus, Levy says, the quality of a school should interest not only home buyers, but developers.

“For those people who are building and selling housing, one way to guarantee the continual value of that real estate is to make sure that the families who are living there have good schools. So improving schools is not simply about job opportunities and retaining families, it’s about reassuring that the values of real estate continue to rise.”

Reported by Hadas Kuznits, KYW Newsradio 1060

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