Public vs. Private Schools – What Are the Real Costs & Benefits?
One of the most important factors for many families, or expectant parents, in choosing where to purchase a home is the quality of the local schools. Most real estate listings even include the greatschools.org rating of the elementary, middle and high schools alongside the property details. To get their kids into the school district of their choice, many families are willing to give up square footage, features and amenities within their home in order to afford what they see as the better city, town, or neighborhood location, educationally speaking.
Many parents immediately assume private schools are unaffordable, not realizing that the difference they may be paying in their overall home price could offset those costs. Several factors can come into play for families making the decision between excellent public school districts and access to private schools.
It’s true that the quality of public schools contributes to the positive reputation of more affluent towns, and with that affluence comes increased property value and real estate prices. That means a home located in a town with a high GreatSchools.com rating can cost about $100,000 more than a similar home in a town where schools do not perform as well. We know, too, that the price we pay to purchase a house is not the final cost to us as homeowners. Mortgage interest and property taxes add hundreds of thousands of dollars over the time we own a home.
For instance, the difference in actual cost between one home purchased at $350,000 and another at $250,000 would be about $238,000 — $833,000 versus $595,000! That’s calculated using a 4% interest rate on a 30-year mortgage and a tax rate that’s equal in both towns. Imagine the savings on the less expensive house in a town with a lower tax rate!
Now, compare the cost of owning the pricier home to private school tuition for two children. Would you consider living in the “cheaper” town if part of the $238,000 difference in mortgage payments would cover private school?
There are many more considerations when it comes to choosing the best schools for your children. What are your academic goals and preferences? Are the small class sizes offered by private schools a priority? Does one public school district have better sports teams than another to help your athlete grow? Which schools offer more advanced placement courses in the subjects you’re looking for? Having your children attend the same schools as their neighborhood friends might be more important to you than an online rating.
Learn more about the neighborhoods and homes that may fit your family’s needs. Talk to a LaMontagne Builders representative today.