• Out of 67 metros in the Porch/Redfin study, Chicago comes in 45th.
  • Chicago ranks highly in walkability.
  • Chicago ranks below the study national average in real estate confidence.

Porch.com, a home repair and renovation services site, teamed up with real estate firm Redfin to study homeowners’ perceptions of the cities in which they live. In the first Best Places to Own a Home in America study, Chicago came in at 45th on a list of 67 metro areas.

Chicago rated highest in walkability and lowest in tax fairness. It was above average in commute and healthy living, and below average in educational opportunity, security and safety.

The poll asked 9,923 U.S. homeowners questions in 31 dimensions, including safety, climate, commute times, access to education, tax fairness and real estate trends to compile the list. 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.

“People living in Chicago’s downtown area often don’t have cars since they’re within a 15-minute walk to almost anything – the shopping district, grocery stores, bars and restaurants. Many of my clients in that area walk to work,” said Redfin Chicago agent Jenn Kim.

stevegeer / iStock.com

stevegeer / iStock.com

Key to the survey was the fact that perceptions of homeowners played a part in the final scores. 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.

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.

Chicago comes in at the middle of the pack on that metric, at no. 34 in real estate confidence. The data, though, put the confidence of the Chicago homeowner below the national average.

Email Kimberley Sirk.

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