A group of Union County residents angry about school redistricting say a study they coordinated found lower property values as a result of the maligned decision.
With a lawsuit pending between the anti-redistricting Citizens for Adequate Public Schools and Union County Public Schools, members of CAPS moved forward with a real estate study they say shows the effect redistricting is already having on area property values.
Critics of the redistricting plan say shifting students away from higher-ranked schools and further away from home will lessen the property values of those homes. School board members argue the redistricting plan was necessary to deal with overcrowding seen in many western Union County schools.
CAPS members say they spoke with local realtors and area residents to get a better idea of how the shift will affect homeowners. They say the affect will be widespread.
“We felt that the redistricting affected a lot more than just kids – we felt like it affected the local economy, which includes people’s home investments and their housing situations,” Sam McNeil, vice president of CAPS, said. “The board of education and school system, so far as we can tell, did no analysis whatsoever of the issue.”
After speaking with area real estate agents and using the real estate database MLS.com, McNeil said his group found homes in certain school clusters had, on average, a lower cost per square foot than homes in other clusters. According to McNeil, all data obtained by the group showed all homes being redistricted saw a negative impact on property values.
“We learned that certain school districts have lower per square foot prices and values for their homes,” he said.
But not all residents in Union County have seen a negative impact on their homes from the redistricting plan. Tom Bopp, a resident in an unincorporated area in the Waxhaw-Marvin region, said he received multiple offers on his home without even formally putting it up for sale. Bopp, a resident of The Reserve, which is in the Marvin Ridge cluster, was not redistricted but was contacted by several parents who were being moved and wanted to ensure their children could remain in the cluster.
“We had bought a lot over in Cureton (in Waxhaw), and my daughter ended up taking a picture of the lot that had a sold sign on there, and from that we got phone calls,” Bopp said of his daughter’s online post.
“A lot of them were currently in the Marvin (Ridge) cluster, but they were getting rezoned to different schools,” he added. “They wanted to stay in the Marvin (Ridge) school district. Honestly, I don’t think they really cared so much about the house; they just wanted the location.”
Most families in the Marvin Ridge cluster included in the redistricting were shifted to the Weddington cluster, with two subdivisions moving to the Cuthbertson cluster, according to UCPS.
The Cuthbertson cluster will see one of the largest shifts in students, along with the Weddington cluster, although Cureton was not included in the redistricting.
“(Homeowners) have seen in reality, in their neighborhoods, 10 or 20 percent of homes go up for sale since the redistricting was announced, and they are reporting sale prices of 10 or 20 percent different,” McNeil said.
See the CAPS real estate study at www.citizensforadequatepublicschools.org.