No kids? School districts still matter when buying a home

When it comes time to buy a new home, there are a lot of factors that your real estate agent wants you to consider, including school districts and school catchments.

Investing in real estate goes beyond bedrooms and bathrooms - especially if you’re a first time home buyer or looking for your home to be your primary investment. When it comes time to sell, you want top dollar for your home, and that comes back to supply and demand. By creating greater demand for your property, you can also create a higher selling price! Being in the right school catchment can help increase the value of your home and may make it easier to sell when the time comes.

In the Central Okanagan region, including Kelowna and West Kelowna, there is only one school district, SD 23. If you’ve ever seen a real estate reality TV show based in the U.S., you will know that they will talk about school districts. In the Central Okanagan, you may want to pay more attention to school catchments.

What’s a school catchment?

A school catchment is basically a district within the school district. Eligibility for enrolment in a particular school is typically based on your address. If you really want your child to go to a certain school your home needs to fall within certain boundaries and you can check your school catchment on the SD 23 website.

Click the links below to view the SD 23 catchment boundary maps, as of 2019/20.

SD 23 Elementary School Catchment Boundary Map

SD 23 Middle School Catchment Boundary Map

SD 23 Secondary School Catchment Boundary Map

Why school districts and catchments matter

For the most part, a child’s performance in school is largely influenced by their home life and their parent’s involvement in their academics. But that doesn’t mean that a great school isn’t important. Different schools are able to offer different levels of attention for students and in the case of middle and secondary schools, there may be variations in the types of school activities and optional classes that a child can take.

Newer schools sometimes benefit from being built with modern teaching styles in mind, whether that’s in the design of the classes, libraries and gymnasiums themselves, or in a greater allocation of funds towards technology like computers, smart boards, and audio systems. However, in areas like the Upper Mission, there has been a massive boom in home construction so some of the schools in the area are now overcapacity, leading to increased class sizes and reduced one-on-one attention, particularly in elementary schools.

Take a look around your would-be home and think about who else the property might appeal to. A big, fenced backyard is desirable for families with young children or young athletes. If the bedrooms are spread out, your home may be in greater demand for those with older children. This can also help you determine which level of schooling would be the most important for future buyers, elementary, middle or secondary school.

It may seem like a lot to consider if you don’t have kids in your home, but when you can’t decide between two similar properties in different neighbourhoods, you may want to use the school catchment as the deciding vote. Of course, a great Realtor can help you navigate the intricacies between the schools and choose a home that is a sound investment for your life now and in the future.

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