Do middle schools increase or decrease property values?

There will be a new middle school built across the street from our condominium. Do middle schools (grades 7 - 9) normally increase or decrease property values?

Moved Cafe Society --> GQ.

Location, location, location.

I have nothing but personal anecdotal evidence to offer but around here the apartments near the schools are the cheapest. When a girlfriend and I were looking around for a place to move into we made sure to stay far away from any schools because we didn’t want to deal with morning and afternoon traffic- I’m assuming plenty of other people think the same way when shopping for a place so I can only conclude that a nearby school would drive down prices.

Drive the values down, IMO. Some people I know lived just behind the track and football field of a high school. Not only the noise, the lights on at night games, the traffic after night games, but there was a recording of distressed seagulls going day and night to try to keep the real birds away. Not to mention occasional vandalism, trash strewing their lawn, gangs of rowdy kids hanging out after school, hiding in the bushes to do…whatever. I’d move!

Gah. I don’t know how I forgot to check which forum I posted in. Thanks mod.

I think a little bit, but not a ton. I live in the neighborhood adjacent to the high school and our property values are about $150-180. Most of the houses are exactly the same.

There are two other neighborhoods in town with similar houses of similar age, size and land. Those houses are, according to, more like $140-190. Those neighborhoods have more houses in them than ours, tho.

I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 31 years now. I grew up down the street and bought a house here. Actually, several people who grew up here also now own houses here, with their parents still living down the street. Some people whose homes butt up against the school property don’t even have fences between their yards and the school. Depending on who lives there at the time, you’ll see people allowing kids to cut through their lawns to get home from school.

For me, the high school adds a little bit to the neighborhood. Free tennis courts, baseball fields, track and bleachers (for bleacher runs) within walking distance. When the football team is doing well and it’s hard to find parking, you don’t have to worry about driving to a game. It’s a great safe place to walk your dog. If you have a big party, you can have people park there and walk to your house.

The neighbors are very good about complaining about ne’r-do-wells hanging around or illegal street parking, and the cops respond quickly. Unless you’re trying to go somewhere at 7AM or 2:30 PM you don’t notice the traffic. With a middle school, you’re going to have even less traffic.

My aunt lives across the street from a notoriously rough Cleveland high school. Other than a little bit of traffic nuisance during the school day, she’s never had a problem. Because the cops are always hanging around. And three months out of the year, the place is a ghost town.

Honestly, I’d rather live next to a school than a shopping center. There’s more authority figures hanging around a school than a Wal Mart. And people are less interested in being at school or being in the neighborhood near the school. If they’re going to be “out and about” during the school day they’re not going to meander through your neighborhood.

My house backs up against our middle school. Based on comparable property values, houses of similar size and age on other nearby streets, etc., (insert your favorite real estate jargon here), not at all one way or another.

The high school? That’s more of a concern than the middle school.

It’s also worth noting that if you live in a desirable school district, you may see a rise in property values as parents want to move into the district. If it’s a lousy district, you’re probably more likely to see property value drop because less-successful students are more likely to be obnoxious or vandals.