California is the ultimate land of opportunity. And everyone has an equal chance.

OK, you can stop laughing now.

An analysis of PropertyShark home listings, Yardi Matrix apartment rentals and GreatSchools rankings of public K-6 campuses in Los Angeles finds that, yes, it takes higher incomes to tap into better education, even the kind covered by taxpayers.

The jaw-dropping takeaway here is that the average home price near the highest-ranking public schools in L.A. is $1,430,000, the report from RentCafe found.

The site says that's about 185 percent higher than the median home price in this market, pegged at $501,000 (other sources have it at $525,000 or even $600,000). The average monthly mortgage, including property taxes, in such an area is $6,772, the report states.

It defines highest top-ranking campuses as those with ratings of between 8 and 10 on the GreatSchools site. Those compose 12 percent of public elementary schools in L.A. Most of these campuses are on the Westside, the report states. That makes sense, since the median home price on the Westside is now $1.2 million.

If you throw in the towel on house hunting, however, you're still going to have to pony up to rent near top-ranked schools, the report found.

“Renters spend approximately $617 more on rent every month to live near top-performing elementary schools in L.A. than those living near low-ranking schools,” a RentCafe spokeswoman said. “That amounts to more than $7,400 a year.”

The average rent in a bad-schools neighborhood is $1,614, while the same in a good-schools area is $2,231, the site says. That's a 38 percent rent difference.

“With such scarcity of good schools in the city of L.A., it’s not surprising to see significant differences in rent rates from one area to another,” the site says.
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