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Glenview, Northbrook schools rank high

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Joe Zekas

20 years on the North Shore without going native.

Metra Station, Glenview, Illinois

Families with young children often make school quality their highest priority when relocating to a new community. Everyone who's even in the market for a new home has noticed that school quality and housing prices are related. Some academic studies (PDF) find the impact of school quality on housing prices to be fairly minor, but anyone looking at North Shore versus North suburban home prices knows the difference can be huge.

Test scores are, of course, only one measure of academic quality. Several city high schools have higher test scores than New Trier, but few of us have ever heard of parents relocating from the North Shore to the city for those "superior" schools.

Recently published test scores show Glenview and Northbrook school districts ranking very high, higher than some of the North Shore districts.

Those numbers might give pause to some parents who are pondering whether to spend $600,000 in Northbrook or Glenview, or $900,000 in Winnetka for comparable homes. Other community amenities and intangibles beyond schools account for some of the pricing discrepancy, but if schools are the primary driver of a housing decision, Glenview and Northbrook look like viable options. Parents will need that extra $300K when college bills start coming due.

Who knows - not paying for New Trier might make it feasible to pay for Harvard.

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