Now that the new  school year is upon us, NJ Magazine list came out of the highest ranked high schools in New Jersey   ( ) with some shifting around from last year.  The methodology of the selection takes many factors of which I neither want to explain nor need to as it is well written and documented in the NJ Mag article.  Locally, Madison High School was ranked #6 in the state coming up from #15 in 2011.

First and foremost, I give kudos to the Madison School system and although this study only ranks the high school, it all starts from the grammar school system, Madison high School and their fine teahers and administrators, the Board of Education, the town’s administration and most importantly, the parents.  The importance of a good education is tantamount to a better opportunity to have a more fruitful life.  This is not to say that there are those that have lifted themselves from the boot-straps to be successful, it just makes it a little more (and sometimes a lot) difficult.

Coming off my soapbox, and going to my expertise, does school ranking help home values?  The answer is yes.   Qualitatively, there is no question that there is value in buying and living in a community that has a great school system.  But how does one quantify it? Is it 1% or 5% or 100%? Please correct if I am wrong, as far as I know there has never been a study as to what increase it creates.  Now If you look at the top 10-15 schools (New Providence is #1) with the exception of McNair Academy in Jersey City, they are in communities in which the per capita income is higher than the average and the home prices follow.  Therefore, taking the entire quality of life issue certainly increases home value and a high ranking is perceived as a better quality of life. 

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Buyers want to move into good to great school districts, whether or not there are kids involved.  It all has to do with re-sale.  Therefore the value is always higher. 

However, is there a difference in a number 1 ranking vs. number 10.  Maybe slightly but it is probably negligible in the overall scheme of things.  With Madison moving up from 15 to 6, price movement will be prevalent just not that quickly.  It does however give credence to a prospective buyer to look at Madison more so this year than last.  This in turn will give rise to slightly higher prices as the demand of Madison has increased.  But again, it is difficult to quantify.  Sure one can look at prices from one year to another, and yes, Madison prices have risen and will continue to rise.  Can one say it is attributed to a higher ranking?  Who is to say?  In the meantime, thank a teacher.

If you are looking to buy, sell, or rent in the area, don't forget to contact Coccia Realty of Madison at 973.377.4400 or  Also visit their website at or