Open Enrollment's impact on property values

Published on: 6/18/2010

Public Forum:

What three things matter most in real estate? Realtors, professionals in the matter of real estate, tell us 'location, location, location' is the most important factor in home sales, and, therefore, home values or home selling prices.

What are some of the factors that make a particular location more valuable than others, making a given home sell for more in one location than another? The professionals tell us that 'good schools' are paramount. Why? Because good schools, as Greendale is widely reputed to enjoy, are attractive to parents who seek them out for their children.

That's great for Greendale homeowners seeking to sell the homes in which they've invested so much.

We are told our home values are higher than if Greendale schools were of a lesser quality. In other words, the law of supply and demand demands that Greendale home values should be under constant upward pressure as parents seeking the best schooling for their children compete to buy Greendale homes that award parents the opportunity to put their children in the Greendale School District.

But there's an oops in the school district for Greendale homeowners looking to sell.

The parents of the 512 non-resident students of 2008-09 who would otherwise have put upward sales pressure on Greendale homes (with concomitant upward price pressure) don't need to buy a home in Greendale; they can stay where they are and send their children to Greendale schools via the big Open Enrollment Program or other programs that open the door to non-resident students.

With non-resident attendance of the 2008-09 school year at 20 percent in Greendale (as per figures available online), Greendale homeowners (footing the bill for educating Greendale students) are cheated out of that upward price pressure since the parents of 20 percent of Greendale students are getting a benefit that they're not paying for with a home purchase in Greendale.

If it is true that good Greendale schools attract homebuyers, as we're told, and that this causes home values to increase as parents of would-be GSD students compete with each other to purchase from the supply of Greendale homes, then it is also true that allowing non-resident children to attend Greendale schools takes away some of that demand and this must negatively impact our home selling prices.

Non-resident GSD enrollment at one student in five is a significant decrease in demand on the purchase of Greendale homes.

Mike Smith