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Best ZIP codes for good schools and affordable homes

Why choose between living space and quality education?
  • Blue Springs, Missouri's median home value is $143,000 making it the most affordable place to live with the best schools.
  • Of the data pool, San Francisco metro Novato came in at the bottom with median home value of $612,000.
  • Chicagoland's best ZIP code is 60301, or Oak Park, where the median home value is $172,000 and area schools rank 91.3.

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There are approximately 5,567 grade school students in the 64014 ZIP code of Blue Springs, Missouri, and 92 percent of them will graduate high school, according to HomeUnion, which says the school system sits in the No. 1 ZIP code to live in for great schools with affordable living. The real estate investment management firm looked at data from 31 major metro areas and then broke down each metro into respective ZIP codes, tracing the school zones and filtering it all based on median home value. "We looked at every ZIP code in 34 major markets in the study," said Steve Hovland, director of research at HomeUnion. "ZIP codes where the average school ranking was less than 80 percent were immediately disqualified. Beyond that research, we looked within the ZIP code to verify that the area had schools offering K-12 education and all of the schools within the ZIP code were above average or high performing. If the average for a ZIP code was elevated by a few great schools but con...