It’s no secret that many people move to Orange for the schools. It did come as a pleasant surprise, however, when Orange was ranked the fourth most sought-after town in the United States by Realtor.com based on the school system. Amity Schools were also in the top ten, ranked ninth.
“It’s well known that homes in good school districts sell for a premium—and are a good investment for buyers with or without children,” the announcement on Realtor.com said. The firm’s economic research team challenged itself with finding out just how much added value accompanies an outstanding school district. The team dove into data to determine what the top school districts are where people are rushing to buy homes. The team compared homes in school districts rated 9 or 10, the highest score, by GreatSchools.org with homes in nearby districts rated 6 or less.
“It’s common knowledge that buyers are often willing to pay a premium for a home in a strong school district,” says Javier Vivas, research analyst for realtor.com. “Our analysis quantifies just how good it is to be a seller in these areas.”
The bottom line, according to Frank J. D’Ostilio, Jr., Broker/Partner with Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate, LLC, is that good schools sell homes.
“This recognition on Realtor.com is a huge deal,” D’Ostilio said. “Even people who have no children, their children are grown, or who are single, buy homes in Orange because of the schools. They know they’ll sell.”
D’Ostilio said the spread of home-buyers looking in Orange is fairly homogeneous, and not one school is in any higher demand than another.
“I’ve got a few people out there right now looking to get into a house and get their kids into Orange Schools for the start of the school year,” he said. “This is great news for sellers—if some houses weren’t in Orange and it weren’t for the schools, they may not be selling the house.”
Orange Superintendent Vince Scarpetti was not surprised with the ranking. “Our approach to education focuses on the whole child: physically, intellectually, socially and emotionally.”
He believes Orange’s great schools only get some of the credit, “As I get more acclimated here in Orange, I realize how strong a community we have. I credit the educators for the accolades, but the whole community focuses on making Orange a great place to live. The reason for our existence is for children.”
At press time, there were 96 properties for sale and 10 for rent in Orange on Realtor.com. Prices range from $224,400 to $2.4 million (a sprawling estate on Wildrose Rd.) with most in the range of $400,000.
Realtor.com also looked at how value is added to a home in a stellar school district and found that homes in the higher-rated public school districts are, on average, 49% more expensive—at $400,000—than the national median of $269,000, and 77% more expensive than schools located in lower-ranked districts in their own area, with a median of $225,000.
Realtor.com did an additional ranking of homes where buyers are willing to ‘shell out the most extra (or profit the most) for a quality public school education.’ Beverly Hills topped the list of 10 school districts with the highest premium.
Research additionally found that homes in higher-rated school districts sell an average of eight days faster than homes in below-average school districts, and four days faster than the national average. People are more interested in homes in good school districts, too—they’re viewed 26% more, on average, than the average home on realtor.com, and 42% more than homes in areas with below-average schools.
“While highly ranked school districts in these markets have pushed home prices higher than their surrounding areas, the majority of these high-demand markets are relatively affordable when compared to the national median, which is a big factor contributing to their popularity,” Realtor.com’s Vivas says.
By Melissa Nicefaro – Orange Town News Correspondent