Letters to the Editor

Voting yes helps home values

As a Mercer Island homeowner and school supporter, I urge you to join me in voting yes for schools on the Feb. 9 ballot (which will arrive in your mailbox around Jan. 22). The three levy proposals for Mercer Island schools recently were unanimously endorsed by the Seattle King County Association of Realtors.

I think we all know instinctively that there is a link between schools and real estate values, but strong research also supports this. Real estate industry expert Cyberhomes published its 2009 Home Value-Schools Ratings Report Card, which showed that “terrific schools equals premium prices,” and in Cyberhomes analysis of nearly 6,000 ZIP codes: “Median home sales prices in ZIP codes with very high-rated schools were 62 percent higher than those in ZIPs with average schools and more than 92 percent higher than those with low-rated schools.”

Looking at it from another angle, ZIPs with low-ranking schools had median home values below the average for their broader market, while ZIP codes with top-notch schools commanded a 31 percent premium over the market as a whole.” *

According to SKCAR President Keith Nelson, “Good schools are the first thing home buyers ask us about.” In emphasizing the importance of high quality schools, he noted that good schools preserve and enhance the value of family homes, and mentions, “They’re crucial to the futures of the students in the Mercer Island School District.”

Nelson, in a letter to Dr. Gary Plano, superintendent of the Mercer Island School District, praised the district’s academic performance and its high bond rating.

The “Great Schools” ranking for 98040, home to the Mercer Island School District, rates a perfect “10.” So, let’s keep our schools top-notch by supporting them with three yes votes on Feb. 9.

Susan Dierkes

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