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Want to live near your state’s top schools? Prepare to pay $300,000 more for your house.

The begins long before kids start college, a new study shows.

When parents look for a home to set down roots, they often seek the best public school districts. Those homes tend to cost more, nearly $300,000 more on average, according to children’s equipment manufacturer Chicco which analyzed Zillow home values with of best school districts across the U.S.

The average U.S. home value is $353,748 while the average for the best district in every state is 86% higher at $651,662, the study said.

It’s interesting “how strong the correlation between home values and school ratings is across the country,” said Kyle Beierlein, who works as a research assistant with digital marketing firm GoFish on behalf of Chicco. “The significant increase is found from coast to coast.”

Which states have the highest premiums to live near their top school?

The top five states with the steepest premium to live in their top school district, according to Chicco, are:

  • Texas – You’ll have to pay 486% more to dwell in the Eanes Independent School District in Austin. The average Texas home fetches around $293,824, but homes in the Eanes District on average are $1,721,835.
  • Missouri – Ladue School District in St. Louis commands a 346% increase from the state average of $234,834 — to $1,047,091.
  • Connecticut – Westport School District homes go for about $1,630,823, 332% more than the state average of $377,247.
  • California – Palo Alto Unified School District gets a 308% premium. The state’s overall average home value is $743,435, but buying into that coveted school district might cost you $3,030,407.
  • Ohio – Parents must pay a 198% premium to access the Indian Hill Exempted Village School District in Cincinnati. An average Ohio home is valued at $213,149, but buyers looking to live near the top school district will pay about $635,473.

Which commands a higher premium – elementary or high schools?

Homes near the top-rated elementary schools cost 65% more than a state’s average home, while homes near the top-rated high schools cost about 45% more.

“So, on average, it costs a bit more to live near a given state’s top-rated elementary school than it does its top-rated high school,” Beierlein said.

Elite schools:

What states have the highest premiums for their best elementary school?

The states where you pay the biggest premium to live near the best elementary school, the study said, are:

  • Connecticut – To live near the state’s premier elementary school in New Canaan, you’ll pay 359% more for your home. The state average hovers around $377,247, but those who want their kids near the best school in the state must prepare to pay closer to $1,352,580.
  • Massachusetts – While homes in the states cost $585,959, on average, that skyrockets to $2,033,172 (the highest in the study) when you get near the top-rated elementary school in Weston. That’s a 247% premium.
  • Tennessee – The average home is valued at around $305,570, but those in Brentwood, near the state’s top elementary school, are 245% higher at $1,054,248.

What states have the steepest premium for their top high school?

The best high schools won’t take you as far from the state’s average home price, but the premium’s still hefty, the study showed. Here are the top three states with the largest premiums:

Kansas – For a spot near the state’s top-rated high school in Overland Park, you’ll pay 182% more than the average $213,149 Kansan home, or about $635,473.

Delaware – The average home’s valued at $371,811, but those near the top-rated high school in Wilmington are closer to $957,321, a 157% premium.

Washington State – The average home price is $562,290, but it’s 182% higher, or $740,202, near the state’s best high school in Redmond.

Middle school English teacher Kareem Wall, 31, said he worked hard to decorate his classroom for his students at the Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts.

Can I get near a great school anywhere without paying so much?

Yes, there a handful of states where you can pay less than the state’s average home price to get near the state’s best schools.

  • For the best school district: in New Mexico and Maine, you can pay 46% and 44% less, respectively, than the state’s average home and live in the best school district, the study said. In Colorado, you’d pay 29% less.

“In places like Maine and New Mexico, the top-rated school districts are further away from larger metropolitan areas which could be one reason why home values are lower there than the state’s average,” Beierlein said.

  • For the best elementary school: North Carolina gives you the biggest discount, 58% less than the average home. Oklahoma and Florida round out the top three at 36% and 28% less.
  • For the best high school: in Maine, you can get away with paying almost 72% less than the average home in that state to live near the state’s best high school, and 54% less in Mississippi. South Carolinians can pay 45% less than the state’s average home price.

“In many states, the best high schools and elementary schools are located within the best school districts, but that isn’t always the case and could be another contributing factor as to why some states actually experience lower home values near their top-rated elementary or high schools,” Beierlein said.

Medora Lee is a money, markets, and personal finance reporter at USA TODAY. You can reach her at [email protected] and  for personal finance tips and business news every Monday through Friday.