Proximity to Good Schools equals to Most Important Amenity

rancho solano school photoAccording to the National Association of Realtors ®, “Of all the local neighborhood amenities that can influence a buyer’s decision to purchase a home, proximity to good quality schools is one of the most influential.”

Homes in proximity to good schools have higher property values, plain and simple. Homes in neighborhoods with highly-rated public schools often are priced higher than homes that are not.  Home buyers seek out good schools, which increase property values for everyone.  Whether or not you have children, or your children are no longer school-aged, good schools in good school districts are an amenity that any parent wants, which strengthens and increases the value of the homes in those neighborhoods.

The good news for those seeking to buy or sell homes in the Northeast Valley, including Paradise Valley, North Scottsdale and Fountain Hills, is these high-performing school districts featuring “good schools” are already in place.  The schools in Northeast Valley are part of the Paradise Valley Unified School District, the Scottsdale Unified School District and Fountain Hills Unified School District.   While some of these schools permit open enrollment, if a particular school is not accepting new students, residing in that school’s zoned neighborhood may be required before your student may be enrolled.

While I can help you narrow down your school choices when searching for your next home, you can also get started researching these districts.  Websites such as break down the test scores as well as the community ratings of each school district, as well as the schools themselves.  Another website,, ranks the schools using criteria such as student to teacher ratio and test scores.  Then you can rest assured that your decision to buy a home, if based on proximity to a good school is important, is a sound one.

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Paradise Valley Unified School District

Fireside elementary schoolParadise Valley Unified School District is the seventh-largest school district in Arizona, with 31 elementary schools, eight middle schools and six high schools.  This district’s schools are located within an 98-mile area in Phoenix and North Scottsdale, from 7th Avenue east to Pima Road, from Jomax Road south to Northern Avenue.  Given the large size of the district, the tax base for the schools is larger.  The 2014 Auditor General’s report indicates that PVUSD schools outperform the state average and the district average for the percent of funds spend in the classroom.

PVUSD is also known for many programs, some of which are exclusive to this district.  For example, four different elementary schools offer gifted preschool programs:  Fireside, Desert Trails, Desert Cove and North Ranch elementary schools.  These accelerated curriculum and tuition-based programs target 4-year old students who have been identified as gifted on an IQ test.

Foreign language immersion is featured at two different schools in Paradise Valley Unified.  Sandpiper Elementary focuses on Spanish immersion, while Whispering Wind Academy centers on Mandarin immersion.  Three schools offer a K-12 IB (International Baccalaureate) program:  Quail Run Elementary, Vista Verde Middle School and North Canyon High School.  The popular CREST (Center for Research, Engineering, Science and Technology) program is offered at Paradise Valley High School.

Finally, for those fifth-twelfth grade students who are interested in focusing on the performing and visual arts, the North Valley Arts Academy is offered at Desert Cove Elementary, Shea Middle School and Shadow Mountain High.  This program combines the arts with a rigorous academic curriculum.

Even if you don’t live within the PVUSD boundaries, open enrollment gives your student an opportunity to attend any of the schools.  Applications are typically accepted in the district office until January 21st of the previous school year, with Early Bird applications due by December 1st.