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  1. The Complete Guide to Finding the Best School Districts For Your Child When Buying a Home in Orlando in 2023

    Searching for your dream home amongst the thousands of homes for sale in Orlando? As a top destination for families, one of the most important factors to consider is identifying the highest-rated school districts before you make a purchase. This article will help you navigate the best places to buy Orlando Real estate when considering our schools.

    This comprehensive guide will overview everything you need to know about researching school zones, understanding their impact on home values, and picking the ideal community for your family when buying a house in Orlando in 2023. 

    Central Florida is a gem. With insights for highly rated neighborhoods like Lake Nona, Casselberry, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, Delaney Park, Oviedo, Windermere, Winter Park and more, use this as your go-to resource for finding the perfect Orlando area home based on school quality this year and beyond.

    Why Researching Schools Matters When Buying a Home in Orlando

    Over 75,000 single-family homes and 50,000 condos are located within Orlando’s city limits, with exponentially more options in the surrounding areas of Orlando. With so many houses for sale to choose from, how do you decide?

    One of the first factors to research should be the school district and zone that any prospective home falls within. Why?

    • Schools impact home value – Homes in top districts sell for 20-30% more.
    • Matches your priorities – Each district offers different amenities.
    • Long-term investment – Good schools help homes retain value over decades.
    • Resale value – Future buyers will look at schools too.

    While Orlando offers fun theme parks and warm weather year-round, purchasing a home in the right school zone is critical for families. Take the time to research this early in your home search process.

    Overview of the Top Rated Public School Districts in The Orlando Area

    Before analyzing individual schools, it helps to understand the major school districts that serve metro Orlando. These include:

    Orange County Public Schools

    As the main district covering Orlando proper, Orange County Public Schools serves over 200,000 students at nearly 200 total schools. Because the district is so large, ratings and offerings vary significantly between different zones. Top-rated zones within Orange County Schools include:

    • Lake Nona area – Consistently ranks as the #1 zone in metro Orlando.
    • Audubon Park – Historic area near Downtown with A-rated schools.
    • Baldwin Park – Family-friendly community with highly rated schools.

    Seminole County Public Schools

    Seminole County contains suburbs like Oviedo and Lake Mary that are popular with families partially due to the school system. With nearly 70,000 students, Seminole County schools consistently rank near the top in Florida.

    Osceola County School District

    Home prices in Osceola County have risen rapidly in recent years, especially around the Lake Nona/Medical City area. While historically behind Orange and Seminole, Osceola schools are improving quickly.

    Lake County Schools

    For families looking to live in Orlando’s northern and western suburbs, Lake County contains communities like Mount Dora and Tavares with highly-rated school options.

    When searching for your dream home in Orlando, keep this district overview in mind. While other private and charter schools exist, the quality of the zoned public school will still greatly impact home values in that area.

    How to Research an Individual School’s Rating and Performance

    Once you know the broader school districts that service Orlando, the next step is researching individual school ratings and reviews. While districts paint a wide overview, actual quality ratings and offerings can vary significantly between two schools only a few miles apart.

    Here are the best ways to analyze the quality ratings and fit of an individual Orlando area school:

    • Great Schools Ratings – Nationwide site that rates every school 1-10.
    • Niche Rankings – Breakdowns of test scores, student culture, resources.
    • FL Department of Education – Official school report cards and data.
    • Tour Open Houses – Get a firsthand feel by attending in person.
    • Speak with Parents – Current parent insights better than any website.
    • Realtor Guidance – Local realtors will know zone reputations.

    Combining third-party ratings, official government data, in-person tours, and on-the-ground insights is key. Don’t rely on any one resource alone.

    Also consider your family’s personal priorities beyond just academics. Location, commute times, languages or special programs offered, extracurriculars, and other factors also matter when determining if a school is the right fit.

    How Much Homes in Certain Orlando School Zones Cost

    With hundreds of different schools and zones across metro Orlando, you may be wondering – does the specific school really impact home values that much?

    The short answer is yes. Properties located in school zones with higher ratings, newer facilities, and better reputations can sell for significantly more than comparable homes in lower-ranked zones.

    For example:

    Lake Nona area homes – $400,000 – $700,000+ Oviedo area homes – $325,000 – $550,000 Homes near lower-ranked schools – $220,000 – $400,000

    While many factors impact pricing, you should expect to pay a 10-30% premium for homes in Orlando’s most coveted school zones compared to those with lower ratings.

    This premium holds true even when comparing homes of identical sizes and ages just two miles down the road from each other. While not the only driver, school zones plays an outsized role.

    Tips for First-Time Homebuyers in Orlando Seeking Good Schools

    Finding that perfect home in the right school zone is challenging if you’re a first-time homebuyer in Orlando on a budget. Use these tips to maximize your options:

    • Consider slightly smaller homes in top zones – Prioritize location over size.
    • Utilize first-time buyer programs – Take advantage of down payment assistance.
    • Get pre-approved for financing – Confirm your budget is realistic.
    • Make offers quickly on homes in top zones – Inventory moves fast.
    • Focus on developing areas like Lake Nona – More affordable than established zones.

    With the right preparation and research, you can find starter homes in Orlando’s most coveted school districts, even as a first-time buyer. Don’t settle for a mediocre school zone just to get more square footage.

    Key Factors to Consider When Researching School Districts in Orlando

    To recap, here are the most important factors to keep in mind when researching schools and districts in Orlando:

    • Don’t rely on word-of-mouth or outdated info – School ratings can change quickly.
    • Drive around potential neighborhoods to get a feel for the area.
    • Utilize both official government data and third-party ratings/reviews.
    • Attend open houses and tour potential schools.
    • Reach out to real estate agents active in certain zones for insights.
    • Consider your family’s unique priorities – Not just test scores.
    • Expect to pay more for homes in A-rated districts – But worth the premium.

    Take your time, do thorough research, and the ideal home and school combination awaits.

    Find Your Perfect Orlando Area Home and School Today

    Buying a house is already stressful enough. Finding one in the top-rated school zone for your family may seem daunting. Hopefully this guide provided you with the information needed to identify the best Orlando area school districts, research individual schools, and pick the perfect neighborhood for your family’s needs.

    The right home in the right school district provides long-term value while giving your children the best chance to thrive. Whether looking in Lake Nona, Oviedo, Windermere, or other communities, this research will pay off for years down the road.Ready to start touring homes in Orlando’s best school zones? The real estate experts at Olde Town Brokers can help you navigate the process. Contact us today to begin your school district home search!