All home buyers want to know where they can get the best home for their needs. Of course, finding The Best Home” depends entirely on each person’s requirements.
Most of Home by School’s clients are concerned with selecting the right schools, as well as the right home that belongs to their favorite school boundary.
And sometimes, when our clients narrow down their top school boundary choices, they come up with another criterion to try to break any ties. Often, this criterion is something along the lines of “Where can I get the best bang for my buck?”
“Where can I get the best bang for my buck?”
This usually means to them: “Let’s select the school boundary with the most affordable homes that meet our needs”.
But in Fairfax County, the average home price for comparable school boundaries doesn’t vary a lot, so buyers choose to modify their question to figure out where they can buy a home that might appreciate (or at least hold its value) in the future.
While we don’t have a crystal ball to be able to see how homes will appreciate in the future, we do have the ability to see how homes appreciated in the past, so we can see which segments of the Fairfax County Real Estate market had the highest home appreciation*:
The Top 3 segments with highest appreciation (school-year over school-year)
1. Lake Braddock Detached (Single Family) Homes
Perhaps the biggest surprise to us was to find out that Detached homes in the Lake Braddock school boundary appreciated over 16% from one school year to the next.
About 270 homes sold each of the past two school years, with 2012-2013’s average price of $528k, and 2013-2014’s average price of $613k. That’s an increase in average price of over $80,000!
In contrast to the 270 detached homes sold in the Lake Braddock boundary, the next top segment is condos in the Herndon HS boundary.
2. Herndon High School Condos
There were around 70 condos sold each school year within the Herndon HS boundary. Their average price rose from $241k to $277k for almost a 15% appreciation (or $36k).
The third segment wasn’t as surprising to us: it’s the South Lakes Detached Homes
3. South Lakes HS Detached Homes
South Lakes detached homes aren’t a surprise because of the new Silver Line of the Metro. It was to be expected that the new line of the Metro would attract a significant amount of purchasers to that area.
Detached homes in South Lakes showed an average of over 11% appreciation, or $74,000. This average came from between 200 and 250 homes sold each school year with average home prices of $643k in 2012-2013 and $717k in 2013-2014.
What does this mean for selecting a home?
Since past performance doesn’t guarantee future results, you can’t reliably use these numbers for predicting what the market will do in the next few years. However, you can see where most of the activity is – and to get an idea of which areas are “hot”.
A better tool for you would be the “best school boundary bargains”
A better tool to help you find “good deals” would be to see the “best school boundary bargains” where we identify which segments of the market were more affordable this year than last.
If you are considering buying a home soon, you could use these numbers to find possible “good deals”, and find the answer to your question: “Where can I get the best bang for my buck?”.
Your Next Step
Contact us and we’ll be happy to help you find the right home in the right school boundary – and at the best possible price!
* We measured “highest home appreciation” using average price of homes sold during the 2012-2013 school year and comparing them with the average prices of the 2013-2014 school year. Data from MRIS.