Beware Misleading School Information in Coral Gables, Coconut Grove and the High Pines Area of Miami

posted on December 11th, 2009 filed under: Real Estate News

If you’re buying a home in Coral Gables, Coconut Grove or the High Pines neighborhood of Miami, and you’re considering the public schools, be very careful about the information you get from real estate agents.  Some are more interested in a commission than in accurate information.  Some may not even know what they’re talking about.

For example, almost all of Coral Gables is within a “school choice” zone that requires balloting for assignment to one of three elementary schools (Coral Gables, Carver and Sunset).  The school choice zone encompasses most of Coral Gables and some of the Coconut Grove and High Pines areas of Miami.

Generally, if you buy a home within the 3-school choice area of Coral Gables, Coconut Grove and Miami, you cannot know which school your children will attend until you participate in the lottery.

Yet many agents tell prospective home-buyers whatever the buyers want to hear.  Often, real estate agents give buyers the impression that Sunset Elementary would be the school assignment.  One way this is done is to list Sunset in the “ES” (Elementary School) field of the MLS listing for a Coral Gables, Coconut Grove or High Pines property.  Buyers who see the listing information on the internet (e.g., Realtor.com) or obtain a listing sheet from a real estate agent are then led to believe that their children would attend Sunset Elementary.  ’tain’t necessarily so.

You are not guaranteed admission to Sunset, no matter how close you live.  True, you have a better chance in the lottery if you live within a school’s original (before school choice)  boundaries.  But it remains only a chance.  Rather disgustingly, you can even find listings in north Coral Gables, far outside the original Sunset Elementary boundaries and therefore clearly unqualified for even a preference in the school-choice lottery, for which the listing agent has entered Sunset in the Elementary School field of the listing information.

Sunset has become very popular because of its language program (admission to which is separate from the regular school assignment process, but that’s a whole ‘nother story) and because of its beautiful new classroom building.  If you’re in the area and would like to see for yourself, the Sunset campus is at SW 72 Street and SW 52 Avenue, on the Miami side of the border between Coral Gables and Miami formed by Sunset Drive.  Families with French, Spanish or German citizenship may be guaranteed entry into the language program, but as with any information about Miami schools, don’t rely on information without triple-checking.

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posted by // This entry was posted on Friday, December 11th, 2009 at 11:03 am and is filed under Real Estate News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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