The home renovation network Porch teamed up with Redfin this week to launch the results of a survey meant to capture which American cities are the best in which to own a home. Fresh-aired, verdant Denver took first place, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, took second. Somehow, some way, Washington, DC, took third overall.
The rankings were based on ten factors: climate, commute, economic opportunity, educational opportunity, resident satisfaction, healthy living, real estate confidence, security & safety, tax fairness, and walkability. Washington ranks fairly high in a number of categories: twelfth for climate, tenth for economic opportunity, fourth for healthy living. (It also came in a staggering third for walkability, perhaps because walking is often the only option in a city where Metro escalators are basically always just plain stairs.)
But when it comes to “real estate confidence,” a category that one would imagine is absolutely essential to, you know, having the confidence to buy a piece of real estate, DC came in forty-seventh. (The dubious honor of last place goes to San Diego, which is ranked sixty-seventh.)
I’m not for a moment doubting their methodology: after all, DC ranks highly enough in other areas that might counterbalance our dismal showing in the real estate category. And neither am I a DC hater, puffed up with irritation at the idea that some would find our little bureaucratic mecca delightful place to live (it is!). But as a homeowner, this survey has me debating whether real estate confidence is that unimportant a factor when buying a home, or if other cities’ real estate bubbles are that much worse than ours.