August is upon us! Although the heat in the Southeast is here to stay (at least a few more months), summer is officially winding to a close. In just a few short weeks, school-age children will be loading up their back packs, grabbing their books, and heading out the door to the first day of school! From now until June, they will spend the majority of their day learning, growing, and developing in varying school environments. Because of the time and importance devoted to education, school options can play an important role in the home buying decision!
Although price, size, quality, location, and convenience are significant factors influencing the final purchase decision, schools are also a heavily influential topic. Traditionally, parents were faced with two options regarding their child’s education: public schools funded by the state and federal government or private schools fully funded by private parties, typically in the form of attendee tuition. If the funds or desire to send children to private schools is unavailable then home buyers occasionally sacrifice their must-haves based on public school boundary lines. Price, size, quality, location, and convenience fall to the back burner as schools become the ultimate deciding factor. Is this home in the school district we are looking for? At Eastwood Homes, we often see buyers hitting the field with boundary map in hand having checked sites like greatschools.org before even beginning the home search game. But, is it a win-win for homeowners to give up their dream home just because it doesn’t fall into their ideal school district? Should you have to pay more for a home just because it’s in a “good” school district? Today, there are other options to consider. You can have your cake and eat it too!
School options are unlimited! Aside from public and private schools, there are magnet schools, charter schools, and even homeschooling to consider! Charter schools are a form of alternative education funded publically, but operated independently of public school regulations. According to the National Alliance for Charter Schools, charter schools offer parents another school option that focuses on better meeting the needs of each individual child. Through personal attention and varying curriculum standards, charter schools operate as a branch of the nations’ public school system with a slightly different approach. Much like charter schools, magnet schools are a sector of the public school system. Magnet schools often have specialized courses or curriculum focusing on science, mathematics, or the arts. Admission into magnet schools varies. While some magnet schools are very selective and have a competitive entrance process, others simply draw from a lottery to determine admission status. These tuition-free charter and magnet schools could be an alternative to the traditional public or private school options. Best of all, school district boundary lines typically are not a factor in admission to charter or magnet schools! For other families, home schooling may be something to consider. With the popularity of the web today, information regarding home schooling is unlimited! Home school educators and potential home buyers can refer to sites like http://www.homeschool.com/ to see if homeschooling is a viable option!
Although there is some debate regarding the validity of these innovative school choices, more and more people are opting for non-traditional school environments. In North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, the states where Eastwood Homes operates, there are over 150 charter school options and over 100 magnet school options! Those who choose to homeschool can actively communicate with the others in the homeschooling community through sites like http://www.charlottehomeschooling.com/. This plethora of options leaves homebuyers in the Southeast the ability to choose! Before ruling out a home in a certain neighborhood, check for alternative schools in the area to see if this is a place you’d be comfortable sending your child. Ditch the boundary map and meet with the teachers and leaders at each of the schools to determine what school is the best fit. Make your own decision regarding where your child will hang their backpack! Sometimes, the school ratings and reviews don’t portray the entire picture. If the public or private school in your area is not the answer then possibly consider a charter school, magnet school or homeschooling! Options are unlimited if you are willing to step outside the box.
Eastwood Homes neither supports nor opposes alternative schooling choices. This post is provided solely as a source of information.