Schools Matter to DC Area Homebuyers

by Mark Wellborn


Next to convenience and crime, neighborhood schools are probably the biggest determining factor when buying a home (aside from the property itself). And because agents are not allowed to recommend a neighborhood or property based on the quality of schools in the area, additional research is usually required on the part of the home buyer.

The Washington Post had a good piece this past weekend on just how large an issue the quality of schools has become for prospective homebuyers in the DC area, and how some buyers are looking at schools of a particular area well before even looking at the properties.

From The Post:

“Ultimately school fit is number one, house location a far second,” said Lisa Hollaender, whose son recently started kindergarten. The family has decided to stay put in Rockville this year and send him to a private school, but that’s a temporary solution. “We cannot continue to pay for private school, plus buy our ‘dream home,’ “ Hollaender said.

While the article offers up a number of insightful points, it primarily focuses on schools and neighborhoods in Maryland and Northern Virginia. That said, the one DC neighborhood that it does examine is close enough to the Maryland border to make some interesting price comparisons.

When real estate agent Deborah Knuckey, with Continental Properties, lived in the Barnaby Woods neighborhood in Northwest Washington, she found that houses on the District side of Western Avenue, the boundary between Washington and Maryland, sold for $50,000 to $100,000 less than comparable ones on the Chevy Chase side. She attributes that directly to sought-after Montgomery County schools.

For the full article, click here.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/schools_matter_to_dc_area_homebuyers/1353


  1. Janine said at 11:58 am on Monday September 28, 2009:

    To echo the last paragraph, that price difference between one side of Western Avenue and the other is almost entirely due to the quality of public schools in MoCo versus the District. Kind of sad.

  1. Tom A. said at 3:15 pm on Monday September 28, 2009:

    DC has this weird self perpetuating issue of bad schools= many involved parents won’t live in DC= schools mainly have students with uninvolved parents = bad test scores = bad opinion of DC schools = many involved parents won’t buy in DC= housing prices decline= schools In DC suck = people won’t buy in DC…. etc. etc.

    Charter schools are helping thousand of kids get a decent education, but now the more involved parents in DC are sending their kids to charters, so the DCPS schools are struggling more than ever.

Comments are closed.

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