Homes in Kingsport, Erwin, Greeneville school zones get best buy ranking

A current RealtyTrac analysis of 27,000 elementary schools in more than 7,2000 zip codes, along with home price affordability in those zip codes found 65% of zips with good schools are unaffordable for home buyers making the average wage. That wasn’t the case in any of the Tri-Cities schools in the  study.

Take a deeper drive into that data and you find that 100% of the homes in 78 Tri-Cities zip codes met the affordability benchmark. The three that came in just below the 33% of income to buy a median-priced home in their ZIP were all in Gray. One of those, Ridgeview Elementary, is the group that fit the study’s methodology as a “good school.”

Nine Tri-Cities schools fell within the “good school” methodology.

Four of those schools are in Washington County and three are in Sullivan. Greene and Unicoi counties had one each.

Thirty-five schools ranked above the study’s benchmark as the state average and 34 ranked below the study’s benchmark as average.  Many school missed being in the good school and above average by a very slim margin. For example, if the methodology had been round by a tenth of a percent one school would have joined the “good school” column and two schools would have moved into the average test score column.

A heat map of the most affordable good-school zips in each Metro can be found  by CLICKING HERE.


School data is from each state’s Department of Education in 2014. Test scores are based around the test average of each state with the state average being a score of 1.  The higher above the state average the school is, the higher the grade. A good school is defined as having a 2014 test score at least one-third higher than the state average and affordability is the percentage of an average wage earner’s income needed to buy a median priced home.

Median price data is from publicly recorded sales deeds and mortgages for single family homes and condos. In some states known as non-disclosure states where the sales price is not required on the sales deed RealtyTrac used loan amounts and estimated property value at time of sale instead of the sale price.

Average wage data came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and was from the first quarter of 2015, the most recent available. Affordability was calculated based on the percentage of average wages to make monthly house payments on a median priced home, assuming a 10 percent down payment and 3.80 percent interest rate based on Freddie Mac data.

Only zip codes with at least 50 sales of single family homes and condos, not including multiple-parcel transactions, in both 2014 and 2015 were included in the analysis

For blog100

Tri-Cities schools ranked by RealtyTrac’s good school methodology. The schools in bold are those ranked by the study as the most affordable in the good school category. Clicking on image renders a larger file.


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