Home & Style

DC Was Just Ranked as The 3rd Best Place to Own a Home. That Can’t Possibly Be True.

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.

Design & Style Editor

Hillary writes about interiors, real estate, arts, and culture. She is the former digital media editor of The New Republic, and her work has also been published in Glamour, The New York Times Book Review, and The Washington Post, among others. You can follow her on Instagram @hillarylouisekelly or on Pinterest @hlkelly.