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The nation’s top 10 affordable towns with stellar elementary schools

First-time buyers can have access to top-notch schools without sacrificing their budget

In the determined search for affordable housing, buyers often discover that the perfect home isn’t always in the perfect area. Unfortunately, many buyers end up compromising on what neighborhood they’ll live in, which directly impacts the quality of schools their child can attend.

As luck would have it, there are some places where first-time buyers can have access to top-notch schools without sacrificing their budget.

“When searching for a new home, finding something affordable in a good school district with family-friendly features, such as large backyards, tops the list of homebuyer priorities,” said Manager of Economic Research Javier Vivas in a press release.

“These markets offer strong public schools and affordable homes, making them a great fit for homebuyers with elementary school-age children.”

According to realtor.com’s latest study, many cities are 20 to 45 percent more affordable than their surrounding metro area, and they have schools that rank 8 out of 10 or higher by Great Schools. Those cities include:

  • Aurora, Illinois
  • Stone Mountain, Georgia
  • Hampton, New Jersey
  • Royersford, Pennsylvania
  • Kingwood, Texas
  • Rosemount, Minnesota
  • Bowie, Maryland
  • Huntington Woods, Michigan
  • Stow, Massachusetts
  • Chandler, Arizona

Homestead Elementary School

1. Aurora, Illinois (ZIP code 60503)

Schools: Homestead Elementary School (rating 10/10), The Wheatlands Elementary School (rating 8/10) and Wolfs Crossing Elementary School (rating 10/10)

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Housing: The 2017 median household income in Aurora is $114,118, with a 2017 median listing price of $259,900. Aurora is 45 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area and 47 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

Wynbrooke Elementary School

2. Stone Mountain, Georgia (ZIP code 30087)

School: Wynbrooke Elementary School (rating 9/10)

Housing: The 2017 median household income in Stone Mountain is $71,678, with a 2017 median listing price of $218,950. Stone Mountain is 38 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area and compared to the U.S. overall.

Union Township Elementary School

3. Hampton, New Jersey (ZIP code 08827)

School: Union Township Elementary School (rating 8/10)

Housing: The 2017 median household income in Hampton is $118,810, with a 2017 median listing price of $297,000. Hampton is 60 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area and 37 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

Evans Elementary School

4. Royersford, Pennsylvania (ZIP code 19468)

Schools: Brooke Elementary School (rating 9/10), Evans Elementary School (rating 8/10), Limerick Elementary School (rating 9/10), Spring-Ford Intermediate School 5th/6th (rating 9/10) and Upper Providence Elementary School (rating 9/10)

Housing: The 2017 median household income in Royersford is $83,264, with a 2017 median listing price of $246,125. Royersford is 21 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area and 32 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

Deerwood Elementary School

5. Kingwood, Texas (ZIP code 77345)

Schools: Deerwood Elementary School (rating 9/10), Greentree Elementary School (rating 10/10), Hidden Hollow Elementary (9/10), Shadow Forest Elementary School (rating 10/10) and Willow Creek Elementary School (rating 10/10).

Housing: The 2017 median household income in Kingwood is $123,201, with a 2017 median listing price of $323,750. Kingwood is 46 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area and 32 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

6. Rosemount, Minnesota (ZIP code 55068)

School: Shannon Park Elementary School (rating 10/10)

Housing: The 2017 median household income in Rosemount is $93,743, with a 2017 median listing price of $299,900. Rosemount is 30 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area and 32 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

Whitehall Elementary School

7. Bowie, Maryland (ZIP code 20715)

Schools: Whitehall Elementary School (rating 8/10) and Yorktown Elementary School (rating 8/10)

Housing: The 2017 median household income in Bowie is $107,865, with a 2017 median listing price of $345,350. Bowie is 29 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area and 27 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

Burton Elementary School

8. Huntington Woods, Michigan (ZIP code 48070)

School: Burton Elementary School (rating 8/10)

Housing: The 2017 median household income in Huntington Woods is $120,265, with a 2017 median listing price of $400,000. Huntington Woods is 15 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro are and 27 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

9. Stow, Massachusetts (ZIP code 01775)

School: Center School (rating 8/10)

Housing: The 2017 median household income in Stow is $139,622, with a 2017 median listing price of $504,750. Stow is 45 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area and 23 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

Kyrene De Las Brisas School

10. Chandler, Arizona (85226)

Schools: Kyrene De La Mirada School (rating 9/10), Kyrene De La Paloma School (rating 8/10), Kyrene De Las Brisas School (rating 9/10), Kyrene del Cielo School (rating 10/10), Kyrene Traditional – Sureno Campus (rating 9/10) and Paragon Science Academy K-12 (rating 9/10).

Housing: The 2017 median household income in Chandler is $80,130, with a 2017 median listing price of $324,155. Chandler is 30 percent more affordable compared to its surrounding metro area and 20 percent more affordable compared to the U.S. overall.

Each of the top 10 cities also had top-ranked middle and high schools, a bonus for families who are looking to build equity and reap the benefits of a smart real estate purchase.

“Staying in your home for at least five to 10 years is one way you can ensure you receive a high return on your home investment,” said Vivas.

“With strong middle and high schools, many of the markets on the list offer families the opportunity to put down roots while building equity in their home.”

Email Marian McPherson.