Baltimore Sun story

More on the Durham School System

by Jay on July 19, 2009

The picture above is a from a story in the Baltimore Sun about the importance of schools in home buyers assessment of a community. Even folks without school age children often consider the schools as an indicator of the overall livability of a community.

This also supports the larger point that many listing agents and sellers have not grasped in a down market.  It’s not just about the house. It’s about the experience of living in the community, the neighborhood and even this particular street.

Last week I showed a home in a North Durham neighborhood that I had never been in before.  It was a nice home in a nice neighborhood. The primary street through the neighborhood is a long loop.  Driving to the house I took the loop counter clockwise. When I left I continued in the same direction to check out the rest of the neighborhood and got a really pleasant surprise.  By the time I got to the 9:00 o’clock position on the loop I realized I was at the apex of a rise in the topography that provided a very pleasant view of the rolling countryside.

A big deal? No, maybe not. But if I was writing copy for that listing, I’d figure out a way to mention that view.  If I had test scores to mention that were as good as those reported by the Durham Public Schools last week, I’d figure out a way to get a mention about those in too.  In fact, I was in that particular neighborhood because my client wanted to be in that particular high school attendance zone.

The real estate markets in Wake, Orange and Chatham counties haven’t been so much better than Durham’s because their homes were any better. The reality of Durham in terms of schools, governance, amenities, job opportunities and safety is still ahead of its reputation. Listing agents owe it to their clients and their community to market the community as well as the home.

Link to Baltimore Sun story here.

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