While this is a little off topic from our standard remodeling articles, I wanted to share some good news about the Metro DC area. I’ve gotten many of questions from my clients that pretty much ask: “is it a good time to invest in my home?” Rest assured that buying or owning a home in the DC area is as valuable as it ever has been. A great part of this has to do with the great amount of alternate transportation options springing up in the area.
Property values are usually higher in communities with public transportation systems. People want to live in communities where they can move around easily. A recent report from Smart Growth America shows that access to public transportation is one of the reasons that the real estate market in Washington D.C. is so strong. The study shows that it has a higher walkability score (i.e. ability to travel without a vehicle) than any other metropolitan area in the country.
Growing Importance of Public Transportation
The U.S. Census Bureau has classified all metropolitan areas as either “central cities” or “outlying counties” for the past sixty years. However, Smart Growth America states that new development patterns have made those classifications obsolete. They have said that it was more important to assess whether people could travel easily without a vehicle. There are a number of reasons that public transportation is becoming increasingly important:
- Rising gasoline prices
- Aging baby boomers choose to stop driving (or can no longer drive safely)
- Economic downturn makes owning a car more difficult
- Growing interest in green living. Organic landscaping companies have a big role in this.
The number of Americans that drive is expected to continue dropping in the years to come. More people are expected to move to areas with strong public transportation systems, which will ultimately drive housing demand.
How D.C. Received the Highest Walkability Score in the Country
Smart Growth America wanted to see how easily people could travel in various metropolitan areas without a vehicle. They created a specific index called a Walk Score to measure how easily people could run daily errands and commute to their job without a vehicle. Areas with a high Walk Score were classified as Walkable Urban Places (WalkUPs).
The researchers studied the commercial regions of each city and measured the Walk Score. They found that Washington D.C. ranked higher than every other in the country. This was a surprising finding, because many experts believed New York City had the most effective public transportation system.
Washington D.C. has always striven to make public transportation a top priority. The city currently has the second busiest public transit system in the country. The city’s transportation system isn’t perfect, but it has helped the city’s 650,000 residents complete their errands and get to work each day without having to rely on a vehicle.
Uber and Lyft have also made it much easier for people to get around the city. The city may be able to discontinue those services after it creates a more efficient public transportation system.
Incentives to Remain in the D.C. Area
With how easily one can commute to a job without the necessity of a vehicle in the DC area, it creates more incentive to remain in the area. This may mean that your home has some deferred maintenance that should be dealt with. You can always count on the reliable experts at CITY Renovations to handle any job you need done, no matter how big or small! The emotional value of enjoying a well-maintained, properly operating home cannot be overstated.
We’re proud to service the Metro DC area, one of the most job-accessible regions in the country. We hope that while you’re living here that you’ll choose us for all of your handyman and remodeling needs!
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons