Where Are the Best Places for Families to Live Based on Quality Schools and Home Prices?

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When purchasing a home, one of the most important factors to consider is neighborhood school quality. Home values increase when they’re near quality schools, so savvy buyers typically search for properties near highly ranked public schools to build long-term equity, according to HomeUnion® Research Services.

To assist home buyers in finding great real estate values, HomeUnion® analyzed neighborhoods with the most affordable homes and highest-ranked public schools. If home buyers target these zip codes when purchasing assets, their property values could likely increase faster than any other homeowner in their metro area, says Steve Hovland, director of research for HomeUnion®.

In May, the National Bureau of Economic Research found that for every dollar spent on public schools in a community, home values increased $20. The study goes on to claim that “additional school expenditures may benefit everyone in the community, whether or not those residents actually have children in the local public school system.”

In an effort to provide buyers with insight on affordability and school quality, HomeUnion® analyzed its own website data, as well as data from Maponics, to create a list of the best housing markets for families. “It’s our hope that this information will assist home buyers, who are either looking to invest remotely or raise a family in their home, in finding the highest values for their properties,” explains Steve Hovland, director of research for HomeUnion®.

In 1Q 2017, a zip code in Kansas City topped the affordability list with a median home price of $159,700, while a zip code in San Francisco rounded out the bottom of the list with a median price in excess of $1 million.

Here is the list of the 30 best places for families based on housing affordability and school quality:

Metro State Submarket Zip Code Schools Price
Kansas City MO Blue Springs, Mo. 64014 88.5 $159,700
Oklahoma City OK Tuttle, Okla. 73170 89.6 $165,000
St. Louis MO Fenton, Mo. 63026 81.1 $167,000
Palm Beach, Fla. FL Boca Raton, Fla. 33496 87.9 $167,500
Chicago IL Aurora, Ill. 60503 81.9 $168,000
Indianapolis IN Brownsburg, Ind. 46112 86.3 $184,100
Cleveland OH Broadview Heights, Ohio 44147 87.1 $200,00
Philadelphia PA Horsham, Pa. 19044 84.2 $217,500
Atlanta GA Buford, Ga. 30519 86.5 $220,00
Columbus OH Powell, Ohio 43065 86.1 $229,500
Houston TX Katy, Texas 77450 81.2 $239,500
Pittsburgh PA Cranberry Township, Pa. 16066 83.9 $274,000
Las Vegas NV Summerlin neighborhood 89144 81.9 $295,000
Jacksonville, Fla. FL St. John’s, Fla. 32259 81.6 $297,000
San Antonio TX Cross Mountain, Texas 78255 85.2 $317,100
Sacramento, Calif. CA Rocklin, Calif. 95677 81.5 $330,500
Charlotte, N.C. NC Matthews, N.C. 28104 87.7 $336,500
Nashville TN Thompson’s Station, Tenn. 37179 90.3 $372,500
Austin TX Williamson, Texas 78717 84.9 $375,000
Denver CO Centennial, Colo. 80122 83.3 $380,000
Portland, Ore. OR Lake Oswego, Ore. 97035 87.9 $417,500
Los Angeles CA Valencia, Calif. 91355 82.3 $480,000
Seattle WA North Bend, Wash. 98045 83.3 $510,000
San Diego CA Carmel Mountain Ranch 92128 89.7 $515,000
Washington, D.C. MD Mt. Airy, MD 21771 82.1 $529,500
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. FL Weston, Fla. 33332 93.3 $567,100
Orange County CA University Park 92612 88.6 $579,000
Oakland, Calif. CA Walnut Creek 94596 94.8 $625,000
San Jose CA West San Jose 95130 80.5 $799,000
San Francisco CA San Anselmo, Calif. 94960 86.9 $1,035,000


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Nathan Jun 1 2017 - 7:32 AM
It's great to see two Missouri cities on your list, except you have St. Louis listed as IL.
    Alisha Chocha Jun 1 2017 - 2:11 PM
    Hi Nathan, Thank you. We updated. Thanks for the feedback! Alisha at HomeUnion®

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