Summary. The Washington metropolitan area, or the DMV as it’s known, is centered on Washington, D.C. The area includes all of the federal district as well as parts of Maryland and Virginia. The DMV includes as its principal cities, the District and everything inside the Beltway, Alexandria, Arlington, and Bethesda, as well as the Virginia and Maryland counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Montgomery, Prince William and Prince George. The Washington metropolitan area is the most educated and, by some measures, the most affluent metropolitan area in the United States. The population of the DMV is estimated to be over 6 million, making it the largest metropolitan area in the Southeast region and the seventh-largest metropolitan area in the country. Washington D.C. is the economic and cultural center of the area if not the country. As other cities throughout the country have been buffeted by an uneven economy, Washington’s property market has been buoyed by two forces specific to the capital city: a surge of federal contractors and a rising tide of government spending. The result: what real-estate agents and developers are calling an unprecedented real-estate surge.
No matter whether you live in one of the unique District neighborhoods like DuPont Circle, Columbia Heights, Logan Circle or Georgetown; or you are located in the surrounding suburban areas; you understand the nuances of living in the DMV and know that the differences in homes and condominiums in these areas can cause a change in values from street to street and town to town. We understand that the area offers a wide choice of housing alternatives. Each of the neighborhoods as well towns and villages within the area have varying access to the local amenities and accessibility to the Capital. Statistically, people like to lump the locations within the DMV together, however, each of the towns and neighborhoods are unique and care must be taken to evaluate the differences in each area.
Education and Locale. School districts often play a large part in a buyers selection process when it comes to a new home. Whether your home resides in the DCPS, MCSS, FCPS, ACPS, APS, MCPS, or any one of the other outstanding school districts in the area, it is important that your appraiser be familiar with the impact it has on your home’s value. Proximity to the large private and parochial school network in the area can also play a part in valuations. Additionally, anyone who has driven in the DMV at rush hour can attest that the proximity to the VRE, MARC, and Metro commuter transit systems as well as the local highways are often determining factors when new residents begin their search for a home in the area. As such, these aspects can have a direct impact on your valuation. Lot size and subdivision amenities are also important to buyers in these markets with many planned developments and unique recreational themed communities such as golf course, equestrian, and tennis orientated areas available to buyers. Wherever your home resides, it is important that your appraiser be familiar with the impact that all of these factors can have on your home’s value.
Commerce. The various agencies of the Federal Government employ over 140,000 professionals in the DMV. A sizable number work for defense and civilian contracting companies that conduct business directly with the Federal Government. As a result, the Federal Government provides the underlying basis of the economy in the region. However, the DMV is increasingly home to a diverse segment of businesses not directly related to the Federal Government. The area has the largest science and engineering work force of any metropolitan area in the nation and was ranked as the second best High-Tech Center in a statistical analysis of the top 100 Metropolitan areas in the United States. The DMV is home to hundreds of major research universities, think tanks, and non-profit organizations. Additionally, Washington, D.C. is a top tourism destination as flocks of Americans and foreigners from around the world visit the museums and monuments of the Capital city year round. Moreover, the Washington D.C. area attracts tens of major conferences and conventions each year which also contribute greatly to the region’s economy
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