• The survey of homeowners, conducted in the summer, finds that DC is third-best.
  • Ten factors related to quality of life were evaluated.
  • DC ranks behind Denver at the top spot, and Grand Rapids, MI, at number two.

Home repair and renovation services site Porch.com and real estate firm Redfin teamed up to study the perceptions of homeowners about the cities that they call home.

Washington, D.C., came up near the top of the list, at no. 3, beaten only by first-place-finisher Denver and second-ranked Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Albert Pego / Shutterstock.com

Albert Pego / Shutterstock.com

Washington, D.C. rated highest in healthy living and lowest in real estate confidence. It was above average in walkability, educational opportunity and economic opportunity.

“The D.C. area has everything a resident could want – cultural attractions, restaurants, nightlife, public transit and walkable neighborhoods,” said area Redfin agent Katie Scire in the report. “The real estate market is particularly competitive in popular downtown neighborhoods.”

The poll asked 9,923 U.S. homeowners questions in 31 dimensions, including safety, climate, commute times, access to education, taxes, and real estate trends to gauge homeowners’ sentiment about the cities in which they live. The answers were grouped to come up with a top 10 list in criteria that are important to homeowners. Redfin real estate agents added local knowledge about some of the cities discussed in the results.

The survey was conducted in July and August of 2015.

Key to the survey was the fact that perceptions of homeowners played a part in the final scores. The researchers point out that a common complaint about self-report studies is the potential for bias: People think more highly of the place where they live because they’ve made a choice and often a substantial investment in order to live there. But, the pollsters said the Porch/Redfin study is consistent with other external data they’d reviewed.

Homeowner perceptions of the local real estate market are critical: these biases influence whether they remodel, what kinds of remodeling projects they do, and whether they decide to buy or sell a home.

In that key metric, though, the D.C. area records its lowest score, a 47 out of the 67 cities ranked.

With inventories at critical low points, prices and rents rising, and days on the market among the lowest in the country, the D.C. home market is a tough nut to crack. But once in, residents appreciate the quality of life it offers.

Email Kimberley Sirk.

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