Back to School, Back to Basics

The week of Montana Fair brings hundreds of families to Billings. Besides the fair, parents are shopping and preparing for back to school.  The school supplies may contain lunch bags, clothes, shoes and electronics.  In   addition to school supplies, good schools are a major consideration when people are looking to relocate.

The domestic home-buying population also clearly values the right school. A 2013® survey of nearly 1,000 prospective home buyers showed that 91 percent said school boundaries were important in their search.  Nationwide zip Codes with at least one good school have an estimated home value of $427,402 while homes in zip codes without good schools have an average of $241,096, according to HousingWire in 2016. A good school is defined as a school with an overall test score of at least 30% above the state average.  Check out

Besides good schools, parents are looking for proximity to schools. Billings just recently redrew the school lines for School District.  You can view the new districts at   The Billings School District has added two new junior highs and have redrawn the school lines for elementary and junior.  In addition, the Billings Catholic Schools have built a new elementary and middle school and will educate more than 1000 students in the K-12 grades.  Ribbon cutting for the new St. Francis school is August 23rd.
In addition to good schools and proximity to a schools, parents are looking for that extra bathroom or bedroom. Move up families may be looking for one more bath to help with the morning rush. One mother told me she was tired of taking her shower at 5 AM in order to get everyone to jobs and school. When looking to make upgrades for home value, look to adding more bedrooms and baths. Currently, the Billings MLS offers approx. 475 homes with at least two full baths.  Adding an egress window in the basement bedroom will cost you approx. $2600 but is well worth the costs when you go to sell.  Adding an additional half bath or shower in the basement will add value and faster home sale down the road.

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