Cause & Effect


There’s been quite a bit of discussion about the schools issues in Foster City and I’ve received several e-mails and had discussions with folks who have serious concerns about how these schools issues have and will effect home values in Foster City. The key questions are: 1) will the overcrowding in Foster City Schools cause the overall superb quality of these schools to diminish and 2) does the lack of a High School and the apparent lack of hope of one coming also mean homes values will decline.

On the second question, my little teensie, weensie opinion is that the lack of a High School has no effect at all on values here. I certainly wish that a High School had been built here…but it didn’t and the historic lack of a High School has already proven to be a non issue in this area. Property values exploded here on the same pace as all of the other Peninsula communities in the last ten years. Nobody seemed to care about the High School…or the lack of one for that matter. It always seemed to me that the obvious other benefits of life in Foster City out weighed this problem. It also out weighs the problem in San Carlos as well. I certainly believe that there’s never going to be a High School here, at least one that we would all consider a High School. No marching bands, no football or basketball teams…etc. Whatever land there once was for that type of school is long gone. Going forward Foster City home values are not going to be effected by this issue.

On the first question I think that the school API’s would have to significantly show a big loss before values would be impacted. FC would have to fall down into the 700’s or less to really cause problems. Whether or not this current overcrowding problem will cause this is certainly speculative. I don’t have the answer, but I doubt whether it will simply because so many parents in this town are so very proactive with their kids education. Who knows? I’m much more worried about escalating HOA dues, particularly in light of the potential of FEMA mandated flood insurance having an impact of condo/townhouse values. I also think the economy will sort itself out and lot’s of these kids will wind up back in private schools again…and thus loosen the overcrowding problem.

While these problems are being debated Foster City currently has 32 active single family houses for sale and 18 pending sales. Easily the best ratio so far in 2009. These buyers have not shied away from FC even in the current school drama environment. That’s a positive sign if you ask me.

Time will tell of course. Best wishes to all of the very dedicated and committed parents that are working toward preserving the great education that kids have historically received here. I hope your work pays off!


  1. This is not only about property value. This is also about live a restful life here, which happens to be the style of the foster city. San Carlos happens to be not in that style. Without a high school, either private or public, parents always have to take the trouble of either driving long way to school or move out of the area. Unfortunately, they have to take either option realistically.

    The percentage of high school parents is really not that high, which is not driving the market crazy 🙂

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