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Letter: Our Schools - Our Home Values

My husband Mark was offered a job on Long Island in 1994. We had to leave Boston behind and find a new place to call home.  We were newly married, no kids and we were buying a home during a recession.  We wanted to invest in a community where we could not only be a part of it, but also feel good about the money we were spending to purchase a home.  We quickly learned that Manhasset offered great schools and an amazing commute to NYC.  

I researched back to 1973 and discovered that Manhasset held its home values better than most Long Island towns for those two reasons – great schools and great commute/proximity to NYC. We were convinced it was a place to invest in and bought a home in Manhasset and began a great life here.

Since 1995, I have been a real estate agent in Manhasset. I can tell you first-hand that the school district’s reputation and the proximity to NYC are the first two reasons buyers state when asked why they are considering a home purchase in Manhasset over other areas.

The quality of local public schools has always been widely believed to be a key determinant of housing prices.  Brookings Institution quantified this premise in a study done in April 2012 that determined living in a high-scoring public school district can raise home values by as much as $205,000.

Lucky then that Manhasset homeowners reside in a community with some of the best schools in the nation.  According to Newsweek’s 2012 list of “Best American High Schools,” Manhasset placed 78 out of 1,000 public high schools in the nation.

A recent Georgia Institute of Technology study found that properties ranked on SchoolDigger.com which were located near schools with a rating of 4 or 5 stars were almost completely insulated from declining values while those near schools with 1-3 stars experienced massive losses in value over that 3 year period.

In 2013, SchoolDigger.com gave Munsey Park Elementary School, Shelter Rock Elementary School and Manhasset Secondary School five stars across the board, using a rating system based on factors such as student/teacher ratios and test scores.

According to the Washington Post’s 2013 “America’s Most Challenging High Schools,” Manhasset ranked second on Long Island and in the top 100 out of 1900 public schools nationwide in its effectiveness in preparing graduates for college.

These kinds of ratings and statistics are exactly what home-buyers research before looking to buy a home.  That data does have a profound effect on the demand for and value of each and every home in Manhasset and dramatically affects buying criteria.  If our nationally renowned educational program and commensurate property values are important to you, then please vote “yes” to support the school budget on May 21.

Annie Holdreith