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8 Best NC School Districts for Buying a Home

North Carolina

8 Best NC School Districts for Buying a House

One of the most important aspects to consider when buying a house is the quality of schools your children will attend. You want the best for your kids, so for home buyers, that means finding a home in a great NC school district. Finding a home in a quality North Carolina school district isn’t as hard as you think. With over 1,000 public schools scattered across over 100 school districts, you’re sure to find a quality home in a highly rated NC school district. To help you get started, here are our 8 best NC school districts for buying a house.

1 – Mooresville Graded School District – Mooresville, NC

Mooresville Graded School District with US flag and clock

According to the North Carolina school report cards, Mooresville Graded School District is the top public school district in the entire state. With an enrollment of a little over 6K students, Mooresville Graded School District features 3 elementary schools, 2 intermediate schools, 1 middle school and 1 high school.

Although this is by no means the biggest school district in the state of NC, Mooresville Graded School District is a tight-knit system of schools that consistently rank in the top 10 for academic achievement across the state.

The city of Mooresville is located just a short drive north of Charlotte in Iredell county, North Carolina. Mooresville boasts a population of more than 50,000 and offers homebuyers a combination of small-town charm with big city connections as its considered part of the growing Charlotte-Mecklenburg metropolitan area.

If you’re interested in outdoor activities as well as top-tier schools, then Mooresville is an excellent town to consider. Lake Norman is one of the top attractions in Mooresville, making it an excellent choice for anyone interested in a lakefront property or other waterfront home. Beyond the amazing school system and Lake Norman, Mooresville offers a booming craft beer scene and beautiful foothills scenery.

2 – Orange County Schools – Hillsborough & Chapel Hill, NC

entrance of a college school building

According to NC school report cards, coming in just behind Mooresville Graded School District on the list of top NC school districts is the Orange County School District. Located along I-40 between Greensboro and Durham lies Orange County, North Carolina.

Orange County Schools annually grades in the top 10 on the NC school report cards for academic proficiency amongst students. One of the best aspects of Orange County Schools is their level of student diversity as represented by a student body comprised of all backgrounds and ethnicities.

Orange County Schools feature the following for families:

  • 13 schools
  • Over 7,000 students
  • 66% student participation rate for career and technical education
  • Less than .5% of students with chronic absenteeism
  • Nearly 2x the average amount of spending per student coming from local sources

It’s easy to see how Orange County Schools consistently land in the top 10 best NC school districts. But, there’s more to love about Orange County than just the wonderful public school system.

The main cities in Orange County are Chapel Hill and Hillsborough, NC. Hillsborough is a small southern town known for its historic neighborhoods filled with homes, roads and other construction dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Chapel Hill is home to the University of North Carolina (UNC) and features the world-renowned Franklin Street where you’ll find an assortment of shops, restaurants and boutiques. You’re sure to find a home for sale in Orange County, NC, too. Currently, there are 148 homes for sale in Hillborough, NC alone.

3 – Haywood County Schools – Waynesville, NC

school campus grounds

The third spot on our list of best NC school districts for buying a house belongs to Haywood County Schools (HCS) headquartered in Waynesville, NC. Located on the North Carolina-Tennessee border, Haywood County Schools are one of the best in the state for several reasons. Athletics, academics and community support are all staples of HCS.

Let’s look at what Haywood County Schools offer families:

  • 15 schools with 3 high schools (unprecedented)
  • 6,700 students countywide
  • Below state average kindergarten class sizes (13 compared to 15)
  • Nearly 90% 4-year graduation rates

Perhaps the most impressive stat for Haywood County Schools is that their students regularly test higher than the state average across core competencies such as math and reading. But, having smaller than average kindergarten class sizes is also a big deal for anyone with toddlers looking for a home in the mountains.

4 – Dare County Schools – Nags Head, NC

university building view from a distance

The number four school district takes us from Haywood County to the opposite end of the state and Dare County Schools headquartered in Nags Head, NC. Dare County is located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and is home to one of the top school districts in the state for several reasons.

Here’s a quick look into Dare County Schools:

  • 11 schools
  • 5,003 students
  • 92% of teachers are considered “experienced”
  • A stunning 95% 4-year graduation rate

One of the prime spots for finding an oceanfront property in North Carolina, Dare County and Nags Head offers some of the best homes for sale and the highest quality schools in the entire state.

When you’re looking for a combination of quality of life and top school districts, Dare County and Nags Head, NC deserve to be at the top of most lists. You’ll enjoy a range of beach activities, the natural scenery such as the towering dunes of Jockey Ridge State Park and historic walking trails.

Finding a home for sale in Nags Head isn’t typically very hard, either. With new listings going up daily, Nags Head and the surrounding neighborhoods in Dare County are popular places to buy a home and raise a family in North Carolina. Currently, there are 54 homes listed for sale in Nags Head, NC.

5 – Watauga County Schools – Boone, NC

aerial view of Watauga county

The fifth spot on our list takes you back to the mountains of Western North Carolina (WNC) to Watauga County Schools (WCS) headquartered in Boone, NC. Watauga County and Boone are rural locations home to beautiful mountain views and Appalachian State University.

Here’s a fast breakdown of Watauga County Schools:

  • 10 schools (1 high school)
  • 4,432 students
  • 92% 4-year graduation rate
  • Top 5 in the state for end-of-grade (EOG) test scores across subjects
  • WCS Ranks #1 in the state for 7th and 8th-grade EOG reading scores

The list of accomplishments for WCS goes on from here. The school system is supported by a dedicated community of teachers and parents. Watauga and Boone are also excellent places to live for anyone interested in laid-back mountain life. With over 150 homes currently listed for sale in Boone, there’s no shortage of options, either.

6 – Asheville City Schools – Asheville, NC

drone view of Asheville City

Southeast of Watauga County and Boone sits Asheville, NC. Asheville is by far the most populous city in the mountains of WNC and offers some of the best public schools in the entire region. Asheville City Schools (ACS) are separate from the Buncombe County Schools where the city of Asheville is located. To attend ACS, you’ll need to live in Asheville city limits and be located within the school district.

Here’s a quick look at Asheville City Schools (ACS):

  • 10 schools (1 high school)
  • ~5,000 students (population fluctuations)
  • Higher than state average participation in advanced courses
  • An impressive 12:1 student-to-teacher ratio
  • 93% of full-time teachers have 3+ years of experience teaching

These are all attractive reasons to consider Asheville City Schools for your kid’s education. Asheville’s housing market is also exploding right now as more and more people migrate to the city and surrounding areas.

Currently, there are over 640 homes for sale in Asheville, NC. Asheville is known for its gorgeous mountain scenery and bustling nightlife. Lovers of outdoor activities, craft beer microbreweries, dining and shopping will love Asheville and its surrounding neighborhoods.

7 – Yadkin County Schools – Yadkinville, NC

early morning aerial view of Yadkin County

Coming in seventh on our list of best NC school districts for buying a house is Yadkin County Schools. If you head east from Asheville to the Piedmont of NC, you’ll eventually discover Yadkin County, NC.  Although Yadkin County is located in a somewhat rural area of North Carolina, it offers an incredible quality of life filled with outdoor activities and a seasonal climate.

Here’s a glimpse into Yadkin County Schools:

  • 14 schools (2 high schools and 1 early college)
  • 4,898 students enrolled
  • Nearly a 90% 4-year graduation rate
  • Average kindergarten class sizes of 11 students
  • 68% student participation rate for career and technical education programs
  • 47% of YCS students score level 3 proficiency or higher in NC Math 3 competency

Again, just because Yadkin County is small doesn’t mean its schools can’t be some of the best in the state of NC. If you’re looking for a small southern town with incredible schools, Yadkin County and the small town of Yadkinville are more than worth considering. Currently, there are 35 homes listed for sale in Yadkinville with an average listing price of $219K.

8 – Newton Conover City Schools – Newton, NC

a signage saying Newton North Carolina with a folded US flag

The eigth spot on our list goes to Newton-Conover City Schools (N-CCS) headquartered in Newton, NC. The N-CCS school system is one of the top districts in the state of North Carolina for several reasons. Although N-CCS test scores could certainly be better, those numbers aren’t always reflective of quality school districts.

Here’s a small glimpse into Newton-Conover City Schools:

  • 7 schools
  • 2,888 student enrollment
  • 57% minority enrollment (most diverse district in NC)
  • 15:1 student to teacher ratio
  • 94% 4-year graduation rates

N-CCS is a small yet effective school system with plenty of appeal for teachers, students and families alike. In fact, N-CCS is consistently ranked in the top 10 for best school systems for teachers in North Carolina. One of the reasons N-CCS is such an attractive district for teachers is Newton, NC and the surrounding Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metropolitan area.

Located in the foothills of North Carolina, Newton, NC offers a perfect blend of suburban living with natural scenery and outdoor quality of life. Currently, there are 124 homes for sale with an average listing price of $249K in Newton, NC.

EZ Home Search is Your Source for NC Home Buying Tips, Advice and News.

At EZ Home Search, we understand the importance of providing your kids with a quality education. Register for your free EZ Home Search account today and you’ll never miss out on the latest real estate happenings from around the Carolinas and beyond.

Thinking of moving to North Carolina? Check out the EZ Home Search North Carolina blog for more tips on finding the perfect NC home to meet your family’s needs and lifestyle preferences.

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Preston Guyton

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