How about a 48% premium; that is what a school district means to people in Chapel Hill vs. their counterparts in the Raleigh-Cary metro area and in Irvine, CA home prices have dropped 18% while the surrounding metro area has fallen an additional 15% on top of that. Another example, this time in the Midwest, finds Edina, MN home prices have fallen 14% but the greater Minneapolis area has seen them fall 27%. While finally in Andover, MA, home prices have only fallen 4%, while the greater Boston area has seen them fall 16%. In other parts the U.S., home prices have fallen in areas with better schools, but the drops are usually nowhere near the levels in their surrounding metro areas.
There are obviously more factors at play like community affluence, the speed at which real estate sells in these areas, and general obsession over the state assessment scores, all play a role in these historical and short term comparisons, but the numbers are clear. Regardless of whether or not you'll have kids that attend the local schools, it is very important to consider their impact on your purchase today and your home's valuation in the future.