Schools are important for real estate value.

When it comes to finding the right neighborhood with the best schools, the best fit may not be the most house for the money. U.S. News & World Report staffer Devon Thorsby makes the case for researching schools and school systems before signing the contract.

One piece of advice: know what you can afford. Having the worst house on the block is not necessarily the worst thing:

Since your home equity will increase over time in a healthy market. If you gradually update the house, by the time you’re ready to put it on the market, you can hopefully sell it for a larger profit margin than the neighbors who bought the move-in ready house two doors down.

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