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The Good Schools in Los Angeles Are Mostly in Totally Unaffordable Neighborhoods

Finding a house that's affordable in Los Angeles is already a daunting task for most people, but those with kids have a whole other layer of concern: getting those kids into a good school. Real estate site RealtyTrac surveyed 7,200 zip codes across the country, as well as the test scores from schools within those zip codes, to try to find where, if anywhere, you can find both affordable housing and good schools. Unfortunately, of all the metros surveyed, Los Angeles has the largest number of neighborhoods with good schools that are also unaffordable: 183. (New York has 158, for comparison.)

The problem isn't unique to LA, though. RealtyTrac also found that out of 1,823 zip codes nationally that have "at least one good school," 1,192 (or 65 percent) of them are unaffordable, here meaning that a worker earning an average wage would have to spend more than 30 percent of their income to lock down median-priced housing there.

According to the report, and shown on the map below, the most affordable zip code in the LA metro area that also has at least one good school is 90011 in South LA, which covers parts of Historic South-Central and South Park (the older South Park south of the 10 Freeway, not the newer South Park by LA Live). The best school in the area is a charter school on Vernon Avenue (charter schools, note, often have restricted admissions). In this zip code, the median house costs $275,000; as RealtyTrac counts it, that would still cost the average wage earner about 35 percent of his or her paycheck, but it's close to affordable.

The school data comes from the Department of Education from every state. On the map, the final score for schools is based on the average test score for the state, which is represented by 1. So, the "higher above the state average the school is, the higher the grade."


· Homes Not Affordable for Average Wage Earners in 65 Percent of Zip Codes with Good Schools [RealtyTrac]