Some of the most recent news headlines on CNN Money read as follows: “Foreclosures made up 26% of US home sales;” “Cheap homes lure foreign buyers;” or “More than 30% of mortgage borrowers still underwater.”

Stories and headlines like these would lead the average buyer to believe that they should be able to have their pick of the litter when it comes to getting their dream home. For people with unlimited budgets the options our still boundless. However, for those of us with a budget, the realities of the market are not really reflected by the despairing remarks made in the media.

Robert and I are getting to the point in our lives that we want to have children thus moving into a home within a good school district is priority number 1. We had the belief that we would have countless options and would just have to choice from the very best. However, with the school districts we are considering actually have very few homes on the market. So our school districts immediately limited our housing options than when you added a max budget the housing options decrease even more. At times it was very disappointing because not all dreams seemed to be realistic. The questions became is the quality of the house more important than the quality of school? And what is so terribly wrong with maybe a slightly old or even smaller home if it meet all the necessary needs of you and your family? Finally, are we buying for need or are we buying for status?

Ultimately, we decided it was worth buying maybe a slightly smaller and older home to provide our future children with the best schooling options short of private school. Below are some of the reasons that encouraged us to continue our search in the selected school districts:

1.       The test scores for these schools are phenomenal in addition to their graduation rate and not to mention their college graduation rates

2.       The resale value within these communities have weather the real estate crisis and in some case not been affected at all

3.       If you can find a foreclosure and purchase before an investor you have instant equity a majority of the time because that is the “steal of a deal” within the neighborhood that rarely comes available

4.       Zombie neighborhood – is a recent issue of the current real estate market and essentially it is subdivisions that never got off the ground thus communities are left undeveloped and deserted. This is an issue that has not affected the communities are searching in

Eventually, what we determined is it wasn’t a downgrade it was realization that what you can afford in one area may not be what you need or really want. If one neighborhood allots us a 4000-5000 square feet house but another in a great school district allots us a home with 2000-3000 square feet with all the room needed why do we need the large home. At that point would we be buying a big house for the heck of it? At the end of the day we made a decision that was based on our priorities. We hope to pass on to our children that when you buy what you need not what you want you have all the status you will ever need because your happy and comfortable in what you have.

For each home buyer you have to determine what makes sense for you. For us a good school district made the most sense thus that meant we would probably be buying a slightly older and smaller than originally expected. But when we consider the fact we will have everything we need with some extra and that we are able to give our future children everything they need, we definitely believe we are making the very best decision. Well the search continues on…. Check back weekly so we can keep you updated on our search.

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