Susan Clark
Browsing Housing
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3 years ago
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Does anyone know if there is a way to stay in the same county schools you've been in for 6 years if you buy in a neighboring county? Even if I have to drive my daughter to the school?

My 13 yr old is in 8th grade in Fairfax County schools and has been in their Gifted and Talented academic program since 3rd grade. After my divorce, it took me some time to take care of the mess the ex left for me. I've done that and been promoted a few times and am now in a position to buy something. My ceiling is around 300K purchase price. All the things I can afford in her school district and neighboring schools in the same county are very small and/or very old and run down. There are some THs less than 5 years old right across the bridge in PW county, 10 minutes away, that are around 300K and spacious and in nice neighborhoods. The ONLY problem is the schools (middle and HS) that she would attend. The curriculum they offer doesn't even come close to what she has been getting. She's recently been asked to participate in the College Partnership Program.

I'm so frustrated. I've been at our rental for 4.5 years... the basement of a house. The upkeep is not good, a bad leak in its foundation in my room that requires constant wet vacuuming and bleaching (molds), very old cracked windows, we can't control our own heat, one small bathroom with only a stand up shower that isn't in the best condition, her room has no closet. The list goes on.

I want out so bad but I don't want to ruin the future she's been working so hard for. All the THs I like in this area are at 400K to 450K.... not because of how grandiose they are (very average) but because of where they are. I know, location, location, location.

So frustrated. Looking for options. I've been searching listings EVERY night since May 2010. I've looked at at least 40 houses. I found one today, listed at 310K but it's in PW county.. I love it... and if I were single and didn't have her future and opportunities to consider, I would have put money down today.

Any ideas or suggestions?

Or should I just move to a rental until she graduates? But who knows how the market will be in 4.5 yrs. *sigh*
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Colleen Corgan
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3 years ago
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Hi Susan,

This is a really tough situation. One tool that may be of use is our Buy vs Rent portal. Here's a link to it in Alexandria:

http://hotpads.com/search#lat=38.81595&lon=-77.0898909090909&zoom=22&listingTypes=sale,newHome,rental&includeVaguePricing=false&loan=30,0.0525,0&points=publicSchools

You can enter your maximum price per month you are willing and able to pay, and then you can see what you can rent at that price point, as well as what you can buy.

I've also highlighted the schools for you so you can see where each home is in relation to the schools.

Good luck, and hopefully someone will chime in who has experience dealing with school boundary issues!

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3 years ago
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I grew up in Woodbridge, VA, and there were TONS of kids that went to school outside of their zone. They pretty much stayed in the county, but I think your daughter can go where she wants to go, provided you would be responsible for getting her there, which you said you would. You would have to meet with someone who is an administrator, principal, or higher in the school board. Think of it as an interview. If she has great credentials (grades, extracurriculars, etc.) then usually they try their best to keep them at their school. See if her previous teachers will put in a good word as well. They don't want to get rid of the good ones! I know how hard it can be for kids to be torn away from their friends and classmates. I strongly believe she can stay at her school. Just make some calls and arrange some meetings!

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Nuncita Cherry
Nuncita Cherry
Real Estate Professional
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3 years ago
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A couple of suggestions, I am a Realtor in California, you may want to try to ask her school district for an exception. If she is as a good of a student as you indicated they may not want to lose her and offer her an exception which will allow her to attend a school in a distrct she no longer lives in.

If you work in the school district of the school she attends, you may want to say it is a hardship for you to have to transport her to another school district. Also, you may say that her being home alone or going to another school with unsupervised care before and after school is a concern.
Last but not least you may want to look at homes in the school district of choice that are not in the best of conditions and look at doing a 203k FHA 203k loan (rehab loan). This will allow you to buy in the area you want and finance any repairs needed all in one loan, This is a revamped loan, much simpler than it was 15 years ago, your Realtor and lender just need to be savvy enough to know about them. Check it out on www.fha.gov/203k. Good luck!!

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