Many Long Island school district lines, some of which were drawn hundreds of years ago, seem haphazard, separating large chunks or tiny segments of towns and directing families in those towns to neighboring districts. Liz Wallace, broker-owner of Century 21 Sherlock Homes in Rockville Centre, says the setup is a geographical oddity not easily understood by potential home buyers, particularly those coming to Long Island from other states or New York City.
"A lot of times people from the city will say, 'I hear Rockville Centre is a great town, with pretty houses, and I want to buy here,'" says Wallace, "and we'll ask if they're open to different school districts, and they say, 'What does that mean?'"
Well, what does it mean? In addition to children simply going to a different school district, depending upon what that school district is, homeowners may be paying lower school taxes -- or more -- and their property values may be higher or lower.
What do you gain or lose by living in one town and in the school district of another? Here are pros and cons:
Lower school taxes
Higher property values
Perceived "better" school district
Gaining the benefit of school district's libraries
Feeling like you're part of two neighborhoods
The chance to be involved with both communities' sports teams
Higher school taxes
Lower property values
Perceived "worse" school district
Not having access to municipality's libraries
Feeling like a "stepchild" to the neighborhood you live in
Confusion regarding sports teams
For more advice, click here.