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Your Home Search Report Card – Making it Easier to Get an A

Whether kids are in your future, under your roof, out of the nest, or not even on your radar, schools play an incredibly important role during a real estate transaction. In fact, a survey by noted 91 percent of prospective home buyers found school district boundaries to be important in their search. Chicago and its surrounding suburbs are lucky to offer residents a number of award-winning schools, but figuring out exactly how a neighborhood school could factor into the price of the home you are selling or buying can be as tricky as calculus. To help “school you” during this process, let me offer my tutoring expertise. But first, a couple CliffsNotes to keep in mind.

I Don't Have Kids. Why Should I Care About the Local School?
Because of their impact on home values, it is still in your best interest to be familiar with your neighborhood schools. Why? Because one in five buyers say they would pay 6 to 10 percent above their budget for the right school, according to As a buyer, you'll want to invest in a home with access to public or private schools that would be an attractive selling point when the time comes to put your home on the market.

Strike While Summer's Hot
With the school year coming to a close, the spring market is in full swing as many buyers are hunting for a new home to settle into before school starts this fall. As inventory continues to be low, this is a great time to sell. Even if you have a starter home, you might be surprised at the offers you'll get based on your neighborhood schools. Surprisingly, found one in five buyers would actually give up a bedroom or a garage for a better school. And if you're a family looking for a new home for the upcoming school year, I'd be happy to help educate you on the different school options within the communities where you are interested and how those schools can impact a home's pricing.

Do Your Homework
Keep in mind, it's common for homes just across the street from each other to fall within different school boundaries. Do a quick search to see which schools are associated with the home you are considering. Sites like or let you quickly search by address. And if you're a buyer that has children, you should also take the time to call your neighborhood school to ask for a tour before summer break. Make sure to find out whether the school offers specific classes or extracurricular activities that would interest your child as no two schools are alike, including their start and end times, as well as transportation services. And if you have a child in need of special services, I can also help weigh in on schools and neighborhoods that could be a great fit.

Baird & Warner Exclusive Search App

Be the first to know about new listings, price reductions, open houses and more with our exclusive Baird & Warner Search App. Compatible with any smartphone or tablet, the app gives you a first look at the information critical to your home search. It's as easy as using your finger to draw a perimeter around the area you're interested in and see all the available listings. You can tailor your search to those specific features you're seeking, and save the search so you can quickly access that information for multiple listings. Ask me about how to start using this tool today.

Why a Robot Will Never Replace Your Realtor

Baird & Warner is known for making people's lives easier, and technology plays a big role in how we work with you. But it's the human touch that you and I can agree really helps you achieve your homeownership goals. With talk of the "rise of machines" grabbing a lot of headlines, Laura Ellis, president of residential sales and executive vice president of Baird & Warner, was inspired to write this Inman article on why those standby human traits common in Realtors — including intuition and emotion — are the greatest assets to buyers and sellers.

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