Buying or Renting for the School Zone

Buying or renting a home based on school zone is nothing new. Parents want the best for their kids and a good school is at the top of most families’ wish list when it comes to where they live. What has changed is how easy it’s become to find out about schools in different areas and the connection between searching for a space and school zone in one place.

There are many sources for finding out which schools are either rated the best or are a good fit for your child, such as GreatSchools.org. You can read reviews from parents and hear from the teachers and other staff as well. There are also a plethora of parent blogs which discuss the different schools in their district. And now most real estate sites and apps have search tools for specific schools or districts. For the variety of ways you can research yourself read more here.

New York can be especially daunting when it comes to figuring out schools for your children. Elementary schools are based on zones, while middle schools are district wide, and then throw in charter schools or specialized programs for gifted and talented or children with special needs and there is a lot to think about. This article from CityRealty breaks it down best and even includes a color-coded map.

Now let’s talk about the potential difficulties of buying or renting for the school zone. Zones change! Fairly recently zoning in parts of Windsor Terrace changed and residents who had been zoned for the well ranked and very sought after PS 154 were now to attend PS 130, which is still a good school but very different. PS 130 is further from the interior of Windsor Terrace, is much larger and split into two different buildings, one upper for older kids and one lower for younger. Many residents were upset about this and, if any bought or rented because they wanted their child to attend PS 154, were understandably disappointed. And right at this moment, leaders within the DOE are proposing rezoning that would effect seven elementary schools in District 15, mainly the areas of Red Hook, Gowanus, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill. Residents of these areas also have some concerns.

So, what can buyer/renters do about this? Read up on any potential zone changes. Often times before a change is made there is some buzz about it and community meetings to discuss and get info. Also know if any schools are being built in the area. That is what brought on the rezoning in Windsor Terrace. A brand new school, which would becomes PS 130’s upper school was built close by. This affected zoning around the entire radius of the new building.

It’s natural to want the best education for your children. Just know the possible obstacles you may come across. You can read more about the trouble with buying or renting for the school zone and follow the advice and guides I’ve linked above. Hopefully that will make you feel informed and prepared to make a decision about where you’d like to settle.

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