Do you REALLY know where you live?

Searching the Internet for homes for sale in Delaware County by zip code can be a mistake. Likewise, trusting any housing stats that show the info by zip can be very misleading. Why? Because the boundaries for the zips in Delaware County have no relevance to municipalities or school districts or general geography.

The first home I purchased was located in Franklin County, in the Worthington School District, with a Dublin phone exchange. The property taxes were based on the city of Columbus with Columbus police, fire, trash and snow removal. My MAILING address was Powell 43065. Essentially, I wasn’t sure where I lived.

At that time, I inquired as to why I had a Powell mailing address since Powell is in Delaware County. I was told that it was due to the mail routes (and zips) being set up when the land was rural. They told me that Worthington wasn’t set up to do mail delivery to farm land properties.

Click map to enlarge

So fast forward to today to see how strange the zip codes are for southern Delaware County. I’m not sure how these zip boundaries were determined but since the area was farms until recent years, I suppose it has something to do with rural carrier routes. Even then, I don’t understand why 43015 (Delaware, orange area) extends all the way down to Powell Rd, west of Rt 23. Why doesn’t 43065 (Powell, lavender area) go straight to the east with Rt 23 as its border?

Another issue is that these zip areas contain multiple school districts. For example, the 43065 Powell zip contains portions of 4 school districts (Olentangy, Dublin, Worthington and Buckeye Valley). Because home sales/prices differ within each of the four school districts, it would be misleading to provide you with the data using only the zip code. A similar problem exists for the Galena zip code (43021, teal area) and the Delaware zip (43015, orange area). These additional areas also have multiple school districts which aren’t aligned with the zip boundaries.The Lewis Center zip code, 43035 is a little “cleaner”.

This “mess” is why I typically report sales by school district. First of all, doing so provides larger geography, making the reports a little easier to understand. Home buyers are “generally” a little more familiar with school district areas, and even if they don’t have children in school, they know that their property taxes will be impacted (high or low) by the levies from the schools.

The next time you see a real estate agent or a newspaper reporting on housing sales or prices, try to determine what they are using for their search, otherwise you’re apt to be misled..

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