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Comparing home costs in top-rated school districts

• Most comparisons of home prices look at city averages, but do not answer the question of what a family-sized home costs in an area with good schools -- within commuting distance of a major city.

• If you consider the top 20 metro areas (MSAs), which include suburbs, what is the starting price range for a standard three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in a great school district?

• These types of neighborhoods averaged 28 miles from the downtown area, representing a significant commute from some of the key employment hubs.

• Using GreatSchools ratings filter in Zillow, we filtered for single family home listings within the attendance zones of schools that rate 9/10 or 10/10, for elementary, middle, and high schools combined.

• We then looked at the cheapest available single family homes in those areas that were built less than 35 years ago, excluding fixer-uppers, teardowns, auctions, and foreclosures -- to consider conventional listings that were essentially or close to in move-in condition.

• Dallas fares well alongside other top metros, and remains affordably priced considering that it is the fourth-largest metro area by population.

Source: Zillow, JLL Research Analysis

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