The price of a home is often determined by the elementary school district the house is in. For example, one of the (many) reasons Montecito property is so expensive is the quality of its two elementary school districts. API (Academic Performance Index, as established by the California Department of Education) scores are what count and (in 2011) Montecito Union sat atop all its elementary peers at an impressive 959. Cold Spring School was close behind with an average API of 950. Goleta’s Mountain View Elementary School is always right up there too, at 958 in 2011. Next closest in rank was Foothill with 917.
Many other schools’ API grades are close enough to 900 to be a positive factor in the sale or purchase of a home, while school systems that fall below, say, 800, pay a penalty in home prices. Being able to avoid spending an average of nearly $20,000 per child per year on private schools because of a perceived failing in one’s elementary or secondary school district is a major factor in a young family’s decision of where to live. It’s worth remembering that when looking for a home, particularly if you have a young family and especially if you are not planning to send your children to an independent school.
In this past week in the districts East & West of State Street and Hope Ranch in the prices ranging from $400,000 to $1,700,000 there were 31 new listings. A total of 27 properties went pending this week with a closing total of 21 properties. Once again Santa Barbara is looking bright out there for real estate.