Consider the news this week: SAT scores are at an all time low across the nation.
Yes, these are national statistics. Our high school students in Danville are producing excellent SAT scores, and in fact in our district, 38 students were honored with the distinction of National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists.
Moreover, schools in our district “consistently rank in the top 5-10 percent” of tests including the SAT. More details about rankings are available on the San Ramon Valley Unified School district website.
If you are looking for a home, and even if you don’t have kids (even if you can’t tolerate children and never plan to add them to your family), you should be concerned about schools.
Schools are one of the most important factors in “location, location, location.” Age of the home, how updated, how large is the lot, how many stairs — these are all key elements, but schools trump all of them.
Walnut Creek homes span across districts, so the value distinction is easier to see there. Walnut Creek schools are very desirable, as are Northgate (which is part of Mt. Diablo School District), but those that are in the rest of Mt. Diablo … less so.
Let’s compare: 41 Woodhaven Lane is a 2,050 square foot home in the Tice Valley area of Walnut Creek. It is zoned for Parkmead Elementary, Walnut Creek Intermediate, and Los Lomas Hight School. It is in the Walnut Creek and Acalanes school districts. This home sold for $810,000 on Sept. 16.
On the other side of Walnut creek is 2530 Biscay Way. This is a 2,075 square foot home zoned for Bancroft Elementary, Oak Grove Middle School, and Ygnacio Valley High School. It is in the Mt. Diablo School District. It sold for $597,500 on Sept. 20.
If you're following along with your calculator, you can see the difference is $400/square foot to less than $300/square foot.
In Alamo, the sales that have closed so far this month average $394/square foot. In Danville, the average is $344/square foot, and in Blackhawk, $320/square foot.
Most of the kids growning up in Alamo and Danville will attend either or — and either way, they will have their choice of abundant Advanced Placement classes, enjoy great competition in sports, and eventually take the SAT and become one more statistic.
We are fortunate to live in a town that people move to for the schools.
As a mom, I have appreciated the value of each of my kids' classrooms. As a realtor, I appreciate the enchanced value schools give our homes.