Redfin Names the Top Neighborhoods for Highly-Ranked Schools

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Top Neighborhoods for Highly Ranked Schools

To find the best public schools for their children, parents need to do their homework. Fortunately, there are online resources to help them identify which public schools are top of the class, and which aren’t making the grade. The next step is to buy a home in a neighborhood served by those schools. That’s easier said than done.

As Redfin demonstrated last year, being within a highly rated public school zone can have a dramatic effect on the value of your home. When accounting for size, on average, people pay $50 more per square foot for homes in top-rated school zones compared with homes in average-rated zones. But if you’re a new parent, are moving to a new city or are a first-time homebuyer, it can be difficult to determine which neighborhoods have the most highly rated public schools, and what it’s going to take to buy a home there.

Redfin is here to help. We looked at GreatSchools ratings provided by Onboard Informatics in 22 major metropolitan areas to find which neighborhoods have the most highly rated public schools (see full list below). GreatSchools ratings are based on state test scores; as GreatSchools explains, test scores are far from perfect and never tell the whole story, but they are one way for a school to measure the performance of their students on core academic subjects. What’s more, they’re often the only available way to objectively compare to what extent schools are delivering on their promise of teaching certain academic standards.

We also pulled information that will help parents understand what it will take to live in those highly desirable neighborhoods, including data on median sale prices, the percentage of homes that sold above the asking price, how long those homes took to sell, and how many homes hit the market in the past year. We provided the same information for the entire metropolitan area, so parents can compare the neighborhood numbers to the city averages.

When we compared homes in neighborhoods with the most highly rated public schools with homes in the whole metropolitan area, we found that they:

  • Are higher priced – $474,900 median sale price vs. $290,000
  • Are more likely to sell for over the asking price – 30% sold above list price vs. 23%
  • Sell faster – A median of 25 days on the market vs. 31 days
  • Are harder to come by – For every 100 homes in a neighborhood, on average only 5.8 hit the market in the past year, compared with 6.5 for the greater metropolitan areas.

So how can a homebuyer get in to these top neighborhoods, where there are likely to be bidding wars? Come prepared. Earlier this year Redfin analyzed data from more than 10,000 offers that Redfin agents wrote in 2013, and determined that the following strategies were the most effective for winning a bidding war:

Rank Strategy Strategy Improves
an Offer’s
Likelihood of
Success by…
#1 All-Cash Offer 28%
#2 Pre-Inspection 21%
#3 Waived Financing Contingency 15%
#4 Waived Inspection Contingency 15%
#5 Personal Cover Letter 9%

For more information on these strategies, check out the original report. Before you start your home search, be sure to get in touch with a Redfin agent, who can help you come up with the best strategy for your situation and determine when to throw in the towel or go all-in.

The following is a list of the cities we evaluated for this report and the top three neighborhoods with the most highly rated schools in each. Information on the average school rating, student/teacher ratio and expenditure per student came from GreatSchools. Information on the median sale price of homes and other housing data came from Redfin. We also provided links to more information on Redfin about schools with a GreatSchools rating of 7 or higher in each of the top neighborhoods.

Reminder: these are neighborhoods, not necessarily school zones. To find homes for sale served by any particular school, simply search for the name of the school on Redfin.com

Atlanta, GA Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Kedron 3 9.8 15.9 $6,306 $347,000 7.4% 23 8
#2 Braelinn 4 9.4 13.8 $6,306 $220,000 7.6% 19 6
#3 Buckhead 9 7.1 14.4 $6,641 $377,250 11.9% 37 14
Atlanta, GA 1,100 5.6 14.6 $5,500 $165,000 19.0% 36 10

Highly-ranked schools in Kedron (Peachtree City, GA)

Highly-ranked schools in Braelinn (Peachtree City, GA)

Highly-ranked schools in Buckhead (Atlanta, GA)

Austin, TX Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Steiner Ranch 4 10.0 15.7 $4,459 $430,000 12.2% 26 10
#2 Circle C Ranch 4 10.0 14.7 $5,106 $389,000 32.9% 7 7
#3 East Oak Hill 3 8.6 15.1 $5,106 $417,000 31.1% 7 5
Austin, TX 400 6.2 13.9 $4,600 $235,000 25.1% 18 7

Highly-ranked schools in Steiner Ranch (Austin, TX)

Highly-ranked schools in Circle C Ranch (Austin, TX)

Highly-ranked schools in East Oak Hill (Austin, TX)

Boston, MA Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Fenway / Kenmore Square 3 7.9 20.1 $10,126 $494,000 32.9% 15.5 5
#2 Braintree Highlands 3 7.6 14.5 $7,477 $294,000 15.9% 45 4
Boston, MA 1,400 5.2 13.5 $7,600 $344,900 24.5% 43 6

Highly-ranked schools in Fenway/Kenmore Square (Boston, MA)

Highly-ranked schools in Braintree Highlands (Braintree, MA)

Chicago, IL Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Downtown Northbrook 3 10.0 10.7 $10,287 $395,000 18.0% 15 6
#2 Downtown La Grange 3 9.9 14.9 $7,646 $359,500 13.8% 21.5 5
#3 North Center / Roscoe Village 4 9.8 17.5 $6,463 $446,000 22.1% 11 6
Chicago, IL 2,300 5.1 16.4 $5,900 $190,000 17.3% 28 6

Highly-ranked schools in Downtown Northbrook (Northbrook, IL)

Highly-ranked schools in Downtown La Grange (La Grange, IL)

Highly-ranked schools in North Center / Roscoe Village (Chicago, IL)

Denver, CO Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 South Park Hill 3 8.9 23.2 $4,785 $430,000 27.9% 17 7
#2 Stapleton 3 8.7 17.4 $4,785 $347,750 20.2% 15 8
#3 Hilltop 4 7.0 16.6 $4,785 $564,950 19.5% 20 8
Denver, CO 700 5.2 17.8 $4,600 $265,000 26.2% 15 8

Highly-ranked schools in South Park Hill (Denver, CO)

Highly-ranked schools in Stapleton (Denver, CO)

Highly-ranked schools in Hilltop (Denver, CO)

Houston, TX Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Shadow Creek Ranch 3 9.1 16.5 $4,349 $253,021 14.4% 39 12
#2 Kingwood 14 8.9 14.9 $4,811 $205,000 17.1% 18 7
#3 Sugar Creek 3 8.4 16.8 $4,805 $267,500 12.5% 22 5
Houston, TX 1,500 5.8 15.1 $4,500 $194,500 20.4% 24 6

Highly-ranked schools in Shadow Creek Ranch (Pearland, TX)

Highly-ranked schools in Kingwood (Kingwood, TX)

Highly-ranked schools in Sugar Creek (Sugar Land, TX)

Las Vegas, NV Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Green Valley Ranch 3 10.0 24.0 $4,825 $270,000 30.3% 53 7
#2 Summerlin North 7 8.7 21.0 $4,825 $255,000 18.9% 65 9
#3 Westgate 4 8.3 24.1 $4,825 $265,000 22.0% 66 8
Las Vegas, NV 300 5.1 20.1 $4,600 $175,000 27.4% 67 8

Highly-ranked schools in Green Valley Ranch (Henderson, NV)

Highly-ranked schools in Summerlin North (Las Vegas, NV)

Highly-ranked schools in Westgate (Henderson, NV)

Long Island, NY Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 South Wantagh 5 9.3 12.9 $12,075 $425,000 12.0% 49 3
#2 North Syosset 3 8.6 10.0 $15,893 $870,000 9.2% 64 7
#3 North Baldwin 3 8.4 12.6 $12,527 $315,000 9.2% 64.5 5
Long Island, NY 600 6.2 12.7 $12,100 $365,000 9.1% 71 5

Highly-ranked schools in South Wantagh (Wantagh, NY)

Highly-ranked schools in North Syosset (Syosset, NY)

Highly-ranked schools in North Baldwin (North Baldwin, NY)

Los Angeles, CA Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Crescenta Highlands 3 9.6 20.0 $5,870 $619,000 51.5% 15 4
#2 Lunada Bay 3 9.3 23.9 $5,811 $1,490,000 29.7% 25 5
#3 Pacific Palisades 3 9.3 23.6 $4,394 $2,080,375 33.6% 21 5
Los Angeles, CA 2,100 4.9 20.8 $3,500 $458,000 36.8% 20 5

Highly-ranked schools in Crescenta Highlands (Glendale, CA)

Highly-ranked schools in Lunada Bay (Palos Verdes Estates, CA)

Highly-ranked schools in Pacific Palisades (Pacific Palisades, CA)

Miami/Fort Lauderdale, FL Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Chapel Trail 5 8.4 22.1 $5,293 $305,000 24.9% 25 6
#2 Highland Lakes 3 7.7 17.9 $5,372 $392,500 18.4% 49 9
#2 Pembroke Falls 3 7.4 20.3 $5,293 $395,000 22.6% 47 7
Miami/Fort Lauderdale, FL 750 5.1 16.1 $4,700 $191,000 18.7% 43 8

Highly-ranked schools in Chapel Trail (Pembroke Pines, FL)

Highly-ranked schools in Highland Lakes (Miami, FL)

Highly-ranked schools in Pembroke Falls (Pembroke Pines, FL)

Orange County, CA Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Turtle Rock 3 10.0 26.3 $5,143 $1,150,000 13.0% 23 5
#2 El Camino Real 4 9.9 24.5 $5,143 $600,500 31.9% 20.5 4
#3 Northwood 4 9.8 20.8 $5,143 $724,084 24.0% 24 5
Orange County, CA 600 6.4 22.5 $4,900 $547,995 20.7% 24 5

Highly-ranked schools in Turtle Rock (Irvine, CA)

Highly-ranked schools in El Camino Real (Irvine, CA)

Highly-ranked schools in Northwood (Irvine, CA)

Philadelphia, PA Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Wayne 4 9.6 12.9 $9,331 $519,500 14.1% 51.5 6
#2 Bala Cynwyd 3 9.5 11.1 $11,608 $450,000 8.9% 57 6
#3 Havertown 5 8.5 14.9 $6,827 $263,750 8.4% 62 5
Philadelphia, PA 800 4.8 14.4 $16,600 $230,000 10.9% 62 5

Highly-ranked schools in Wayne (Wayne, PA)

Highly-ranked schools in Bala Cynwyd (Bala Cynwyd, PA)

Highly-ranked schools in Havertown (Havertown, PA)

Phoenix, AZ Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Desert Ridge 4 10.0 23.8 $4,313 $388,500 6.7% 35 7
#2 Hillcrest Ranch 3 8.8 23.0 $4,339 $262,000 12.9% 13 9
#3 Ahwatukee 17 8.7 19.8 $3,947 $265,000 10.3% 31 7
Phoenix, AZ 1,200 5.9 18.0 $4,500 $191,130 13.2% 33 8

Highly-ranked schools in Desert Ridge (Phoenix, AZ)

Highly-ranked schools in Hillcrest Ranch (Glendale, AZ)

Highly-ranked schools in Ahwatukee (Phoenix, AZ)

Portland, OR Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Bolton 3 9.8 23.8 $4,916 $269,500 22.9% 31 7
#2 Northwest 4 9.7 21.1 $6,247 $445,000 18.0% 23 5
#3 Belmont 3 8.7 20.7 $6,247 $410,000 30.9% 11 4
Portland, OR 600 5.5 19.5 $5,000 $270,000 26.9% 25 7

Highly-ranked schools in Bolton (West Linn, OR)

Highly-ranked schools in Northwest (Portland, OR)

Highly-ranked schools in Belmont (Portland, OR)

Riverside-San Bernardino, CA Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Etiwanda 4 8.1 24.1 $4,855 $540,000 31.3% 22 7
#2 Heritage / West End 3 8.0 20.3 $4,388 $355,000 50.3% 13 6
#3 Corona Valley 6 7.7 23.0 $4,918 $470,000 32.6% 24 5
Riverside-San Bernardino, CA 1,000 5.1 22.3 $5,000 $270,000 29.7% 27 6

Highly-ranked schools in Etiwanda (Rancho Cucamonga, CA)

Highly-ranked schools in Heritage / West End (Fontana, CA)

Highly-ranked schools in Corona Valley (Corona, CA)

Sacramento, CA Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Old Town Rocklin 3 9.1 15.2 $4,568 $317,450 35.6% 20.5 6
#2 Highland Reserve 3 8.5 25.0 $4,473 $360,000 28.5% 13 9
#3 Central Davis 5 8.3 22.9 $5,410 $575,000 38.5% 11 3
Sacramento, CA 600 5.6 20.0 $4,600 $285,000 29.7% 22 7

Highly-ranked schools in Old Town Rocklin (Rocklin, CA)

Highly-ranked schools in Highland Reserve (Roseville, CA)

Highly-ranked schools in Central Davis (Davis, CA)

San Diego, CA Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Torrey Hills 8 9.6 20.9 $6,144 $640,000 18.3% 20 6
#2 La Jolla 3 9.5 23.7 $5,777 $1,250,000 10.5% 34 7
#3 Loma Portal 3 9.3 20.4 $5,777 $425,000 12.5% 21 6
San Diego, CA 700 5.6 20.3 $5,400 $428,900 21.6% 21 7

Highly-ranked schools in Torrey Hills (San Diego, CA)

Highly-ranked schools in La Jolla (La Jolla, CA)

Highly-ranked schools in Loma Portal (San Diego, CA)

San Francisco, CA Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Outer Parkside 3 8.7 17.7 $4,889 $780,000 85.7% 15 2
#2 Sunset District 13 8.2 19.6 $4,889 $908,000 83.6% 14 2
#3 Inner Richmond 3 7.9 19.3 $4,889 $1,287,500 72.7% 14.5 2
San Francisco, CA 300 5.4 17.5 $4,500 $850,000 63.1% 14 4

Highly-ranked schools in Outer Parkside (San Francisco, CA)

Highly-ranked schools in Sunset District (San Francisco, CA)

Highly-ranked schools in Inner Richmond (San Francisco, CA)

San Jose, CA Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Monta Vista 3 10.0 21.9 $5,514 $1,703,000 75.3% 10 3
#2 Blossom Hill 3 9.5 22.1 $5,477 $794,000 65.6% 11 5
#3 North Los Altos 5 9.4 17.3 $8,330 $2,160,000 72.3% 9 4
San Jose, CA 400 5.9 20.1 $5,200 $703,000 60.9% 12 4

Highly-ranked schools in Monta Vista (Cupertino, CA)

Highly-ranked schools in Blossom Hill (Los Gatos, CA)

Highly-ranked schools in North Los Altos (Los Altos, CA)

Seattle, WA Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Queen Anne 4 9.1 18.3 $6,653 $499,375 27.4% 13 6
#2 Ballard 6 8.9 20.0 $6,653 $480,000 47.6% 7 6
#3 Factoria 3 8.6 21.5 $5,768 $265,000 44.9% 8 6
Seattle, WA 600 5.9 18.7 $5,200 $359,450 31.9% 16 6

Highly-ranked schools in Queen Anne (Seattle, WA)

Highly-ranked schools in Ballard (Seattle, WA)

Highly-ranked schools in Factoria (Bellevue, WA)

Tacoma, WA Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 University Place 7 7.4 19.2 $5,888 $275,000 17.2% 31 5
#2 Northeast Tacoma 4 6.8 19.2 $5,965 $285,250 25.0% 35.5 7
#3 Oakbrook 4 6.2 18.5 $6,358 $221,000 16.5% 41 5
Tacoma, WA 200 5.2 18.9 $5,200 $225,000 25.0% 37 7

Highly-ranked schools in University Place (University Place, WA)

Highly-ranked schools in Northeast Tacoma (Tacoma, WA)

Highly-ranked schools in Oakbrook (Lakewood, WA)

Ventura County, CA Metropolitan Area

Neighborhood # of
Schools
Average
GreatSchools
rating
Average student/
teacher ratio
Average spend
per student
Median
sale price
Sold above
list price
Median days
on market
Homes
for sale
per 100 properties
#1 Westlake Village 3 9.8 21.4 $5,646 $730,000 15.9% 22.5 6
#2 Newbury Park 3 9.3 24.1 $5,457 $630,000 19.8% 21 4
#3 Mission Oaks 3 8.7 23.6 $5,916 $530,000 25.5% 18 4
Ventura County, CA 200 5.3 22.1 $5,200 $475,000 23.7% 22 5

Highly-ranked schools in Westlake Village (Westlake Village, CA)

Highly-ranked schools in Newbury Park (Newbury Park/Thousand Oaks, CA)

Highly-ranked schools in Mission Oaks (Camarillo, CA)

 

For more information about buying a home in any of these neighborhoods, get in touch with a Redfin real estate agent today. To start your home search, visit Redfin.com.

Methodology

For this study, we looked at GreatSchools ratings provided by Onboard Informatics in 22 major metropolitan areas across the country – that means the major city and all of it’s surrounding areas. We only looked at public schools and public charters. To be included, a neighborhood had to have at least three public schools with a rating that was higher than the metro average. Top neighborhoods were chosen based on overall average school quality. The public schools that we linked to for each neighborhood have a GreatSchools rating of 7 or higher. Disclaimer: while we’ve done our best to accurately report this information based on the data we have available, we can’t guarantee schools zones, ratings or placements within a certain neighborhood.

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Christin covers a variety of topics for Redfin Real-Time, ranging from “best places” lists, to Redfin client stories, to celebrity news and everything in-between. Her dream home would have an enormous walk-in closet, a home theater and a room dedicated to her cats. Redfin is a full-service real estate brokerage that uses modern technology to make clients smarter and faster. For more information about working with a Redfin real estate agent to buy or sell a home, visit our "Why Redfin?," page.

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