In this country, one of the perennial desires of family-oriented homebuyers is a prime school district. The best of the best offer talented students the chance to thrive and penny-pinching parents the opportunity to save some cash on private school tuition. That said, real estate in the most favored districts often fetches a premium. So when we set out to find a house within the purview of each of the top five high schools in the country, it wasn't surprising when the results included some primo listings. When you're saving up to $35K a year per kid on tuition, that should leave plenty of cash left over for the house, right? Well, not when you're shelling out $9.5M for a riverfront brick colonial. That's how much this 12-acre property in Virginia's Fairfax County is asking (above). Then again, the buyer will be getting a lot more than just potential enrollment for the little brainiacs in the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, the country's No. 1 public high school according to U.S. News and World Report. The 7,200-square-foot main house features six bedrooms, five bathrooms, a swimming pool with a pool house, pre-war craftsmanship, and direct access to the Potomac River. Yes, of course there are cheaper options, but proud parents deserve some swanky digs, too.
? Five hundred miles from the rolling hills of Virginia, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. is home to the International Academy, No. 2 in the U.S. News ranking. Traditionally called home by the wealthiest Detroit-area residents, Bloomfield Hills features demanding schools and some familiar architecture, including this $2.95M "exact replica of Westover," a sprawling Virginia plantation." Let's hope that tradition of plagiarism doesn't carry over to the classroom.
? Next, we head out to the relatively anonymous SoCal community of Cerritos, home to No. 3 Whitney High School. A less rarified town than the frontrunners, it won't take more than a million dollars to score some of Cerritos's prime real estate, like this four-bed, four-bath spread with a classy address on Bogart Circle. Though we're certain ol' Humphrey had little to do with it, this house is still asking almost $900K. Glamorous it's not, but a good choice for the family nonetheless.
? Not far away, in Cypress, Calif., this four-bedroom is one of the priciest gateways to nearby fourth-place Oxford Academy. Though the curb appeal is a bit wanting, the interior is well suited to a growing family. For those raising a large brood—say, six kids—the $720K to be saved on private school tuition brings the price of this $925K home to just $205K. Now, just start convincing the kids to bunk up.
? Finally, near No. 5, TAG Magnet in Dallas, comes the greatest deal of the lot. For $135K, once can score this brand-new 1,400-square-foot home with three bedrooms. Not only that, but it's set to be built to LEED-certified standards. The only potential hiccup is in, well, the building stage. Right now, it's just a Sims-style rendering. Hard to deny the deal, though!
· America's Best High Schools: Gold Medal List [US News]
· 9500 Ferry Landing Court, Alexandria [Washington Fine Properties]
· 1099 Orchard Ridge Road [Real Estate One]
· 18900 Bogart Circle [Trulia]
· 9859 Carrara Drive [Zillow]
· 1115 Claude Street [Zillow]