Centre College student studies Bowling Green real estate
DANVILLE, KY - Stacy Minton, a Centre College senior from Bowling Green, recently completed a study of Bowling Green real estate prices as part of a project for an advanced economics class at the college. Minton used the principles of econometrics -- the subject she was studying -- to compare a wide range of factors that affect the price a homeowner can expect to fetch when selling a house in the Bowling Green area.
Minton says many of her findings were not surprising. The condition and age of the house, as well as lot size and the home's square footage, had a direct bearing on cost. But Minton says she was very surprised by the degree to which school district had an impact on home value.
In a summary report she prepared for her professor, Dr. Bruce Johnson, Minton described a hypothetical brick, three-bedroom house located in the Greenwood High School district. According to Minton's data, such a house might reasonably bring a price in the range of $142,000 to $145,600. The price could be nudged toward the upper level if the homeowner sold it in the spring rather than fall or winter. But if the same house were located in the Warren East school district, the re-sell value could easily drop by as much as $20,000.
Minton derived her figures from an in-depth analysis of 180 houses sold in Bowling Green during the time period from Oct. 1997 through Sept. 1998. She used a computer spread-sheet program to evaluate data about those houses. Using principles of econometrics, she then created a computer model that predicts price and home value in various circumstances.
Although the computer model helped her see what affects home prices, Minton says the computer does not offer easy explanation as to why those factors make a difference. "The impact of school districts surprised me more than anything," says Minton, who graduated from Warren East, "and I think it's complicated to explain. Some people may feel that one school district is stronger, and that creates greater demand for houses in that area. Or it may be that more construction was already underway in the Greenwood district, so the homes there are newer and have a higher assessed value than homes elsewhere that are older."
Minton thinks her findings may be useful to potential home-sellers as well as home-buyers who are concerned about the possible resale value of their house. To insure top dollar, she says, look for homes with gas heat, a basement, and an attached garage. And when it's time to sell, get the house on the market in April instead of November.
Minton's parents are Robert and Betty Minton.
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600 W. Walnut Street
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