More than half of all homebuyers with children under 18 years of age rate the quality of the local school district as a major factor influencing their choice of neighborhood, according to the latest “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers” from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The quality of the schools is more important than affordability or the buyer’s convenience to schools and shopping, even proximity to family and friends, according to the NAR profile. Only convenience to the workplace is more important, but only by 1 percentage point.

But even if the quality of the schools in the area where you decide to buy is not terribly important now, it may become so in a few years. And even if children are not on your radar screen, you may still be better off in a school district that takes education seriously.

All it takes is a few minutes at the computer screen to dig up all the information you need to check out the schools where you’d like to move.