The great redistricting debate is well underway in Arlington. At this point, those concerned about redistricting have an idea of what's at stake, and an opinion to put them on one side of the fence or the other. As a real estate professional, I am providing some insight into the debate as it relates to the impact on home values.
First, the reasons behind the redistricting boil down to two things: population growth and because the Thompson School received federal funding which requires redistricting. This might address the 'why,' but uncertainty floating around about the implications of these actions has many people asking, 'what now?'
One such uncertainty is the belief that the redistricting will negatively impact home values in some districts. I do not think this will be the case. The short-term growing pains of redistricting will far be outweighed by the fact that Arlington has one of steadiest real estate markets outside of Boston.
While much of the real estate industry is still pulling itself out from under the housing collapse, we are seeing one of the hottest spring markets in years, with multiple offers on almost all of our listings and sale prices going above asking price.
Arlington has the good fortune of being an incredibly varied community, and Arlington home values do not rest solely on its schools. For example, we have a diverse tax base, many restaurants, businesses - both small and large, public transportation, the Minuteman Bikeway, natural resources such as Spy Pond, Mystic Lake, Great Meadows and the Arlington Reservation, Veteran's Memorial Skating Rink, parks, playgrounds and more. These amenities heavily influence the value of your home.
Certainly homeowners have valid concerns when it comes to walkability to schools and neighborhood dynamics, but you should feel comfortable and confident knowing you are living in a desirable, growing town with property values that will ultimately benefit from a stronger school system.
For anyone with concerns about the redistricting as it relates to their home values, I would be happy to provide additional clarification on what it means for your neighborhood and home.