These 25 Cities Have Highly Rated Schools and a Low Cost of Living

A father walking hand-in-hand with his young daughter wearing a backpack.

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The strength of a school district matters to home buyers whether or not they have children.


Key points

  • Dwellics analyzed over 50,000 US cities to find the 25 most affordable cities with outstanding schools.
  • Real estate agents can now use Dwellics to find areas that meet their home buyers’ wish lists.
  • Cities in Ohio made up almost half of the list.

Not long ago, a house hunter would count on their lender to set them up with the best mortgage, and their real estate agent to tell them whether a home was located in a strong school district. Home buyers were responsible for researching area schools on their own, unless they happened to be buying in a city they were already familiar with.

It was important to research the schools because a highly rated school district matters whether or not a home buyer has children. Not only do homes in great school districts sell faster, but according to NewHomeSource, homes in highly rated school districts sell for, on average, 49% more than the national median listing price.

Dwellics

Fortunately, there’s no more asking around to determine how well-rated a prospective school district is. The real estate platform Dwellics has seen to that.

The typical home buyer has a wish list, and now, their real estate agent can plug that wish list into Dwellics to find homes that meet that criteria. Dwellics refers to itself as “your neighborhood detective.”

Dwellics analyzed over 50,000 US cities to compile a list of affordable locations with outstanding schools. The company ranked factors like average teacher salary, teacher-to-student ratio, math proficiency, reading and language arts proficiency, and the number of blue ribbon schools in the city.

The following list represents the top 25 most affordable cities in the US with outstanding education in 2022, according to the platform.

  1. Solon, Ohio: Overall score of 99.9
  2. Blacksburg, Virginia: Overall score of 95.75
  3. Wyoming, Ohio: Overall score of 94.24
  4. Madeira, Ohio: Overall score of 93.05
  5. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Overall score of 90.84
  6. West Point, Virginia: Overall score of 90.28
  7. Short Pump, Virginia: Overall score of 90.25
  8. Granville, Ohio: Overall score of 90.14
  9. Oakwood, Ohio: Overall score of 89.98
  10. Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania: Overall score of 89.9
  11. Cave Spring, Virginia: Overall score of 89.54
  12. Canfield, Ohio: Overall score of 89.5
  13. Dublin, Ohio: Overall score of 89.4
  14. Hampton Township, Pennsylvania: Overall score of 89.25
  15. Kutz, Pennsylvania: Overall score of 89.15
  16. Brentwood, Tennessee: Overall score of 89.02
  17. Liberty Township, Ohio: Overall score of 88.91
  18. Grandview Heights, Ohio: Overall score of 88.85
  19. Naperville, Illinois: Overall score of 88.83
  20. Mountain Brook, Alabama: Overall score of 88.83
  21. Independence, Ohio: Overall score of 88.61
  22. Granger Township, Ohio: Overall score of 88.35
  23. Orange Township, Ohio: Overall score of 88.33
  24. Frisco, Texas: Overall score of 88.31
  25. Folsom, California: Overall score of 88.11

Other comparisons

Dwellics ranks more than schools. It also analyzes thousands of pieces of relevant data to rank things like taxes, weather, lifestyle, and community features. In short, it helps real estate agents make personalized recommendations based on buyers’ wish lists.

More competition?

While the housing market has been red-hot for the past two years, we’re already seeing a cool down. That cool down includes many home buyers withdrawing from the market and sellers forced to lower their asking prices.

At some point, it’s reasonable to believe that housing prices will “normalize.” And when that happens, it’s in a home seller’s best interest to have an edge on the competition.

NewHomeSources points out that some home buyers say they would be willing to pay 6% to 10% over their budget for a home — if it’s in a great school district. Some say they’re willing to give up a bedroom or a garage in a new home if it means they can get into a strong school district.

Living in a top-notch school district does not guarantee a quick sale or sky-high offers, but it offers you a leg up on the competition.

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