We want to buy a home in Kensington, MD, Rock Creek Hills vicinity. Just learned the park across the street to be replaced by a huge middle school.

Asked by Chuckt, Kensington, MD Sun Apr 29, 2012

How do we estimate the impact of the school on resale values of this home 5-10 years from now?

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Piero Marinu…, Agent, Silver Spring, MD
Mon Apr 30, 2012
Chuck, that's a great question. Having a brand new school should have a positive impact on values in the near term.

Is the house you're considering adjacent to the park? Being a direct neighbor of the school could be an issue.
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Yeah, in that case, I would warn you to envision yourself in a house that is not private, but very much in a public space. Even if that is one of two "best" houses in the neighborhood, the one tucked away from the school will command a better price. It's hard to say whether or not the house will be significantly impacted or not without seeing it (the yard, what that buffer that you describe looks like, etc.), it will certainly be a notch lower value-wise than it is today. I'm trying to envision which park you're referring to. Rock Creek Hills is a gorgeous neighborhood, very desirable location-wise. Will the school be on the Beach Drive side of the development?
Flag Mon Apr 30, 2012
The new 3-4 level school building will be big, and could be roughly 350 feet directly across the street from the house, on a hillside overlooking both. A stream sits at bottom of that hillside -- protected on either side by a 125 foot buffer.

There are three site plan proposals in play -- each of which appears to need removal of existing tall trees and understory plants (hello school security lights). Also needed will be extensive grading and excavation; and a traffic pattern that will bring significantly more traffic and parked vehicles to street directly in front of the house and elsewhere. Neighborhood not currently equipped to handle the traffic.

Another issue is that the new building will very likely further congest one small intersecting street that carries cars from the house and surrounding homes onto main artery in and out of town.
Flag Mon Apr 30, 2012
Ellen Levy, Agent, Washington, DC
Mon Apr 30, 2012
That's a tough one. People like to be close to a school but not necessarily across the street. The design of the school may not be final until it is close to the bidding and construction phase. Proximity to the school yard itself where children may be playing and making noise might be the biggest factor affecting resale. I would say that the school will be a slight negative but not a killer, and that overall property values will rise during that period.

Note: I have a Master's in City Planning and am the former Chief Housing Planner for the City of Boston in addition to being a Realtor for 30+ years.
1 vote
Your Solar R…, Agent, Silver Spring, MD
Fri Feb 22, 2013
One factor is based on the schools performance and community support.
Take a look at how Kensington schools are ranked.
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Miekeba Jones, Agent, Silver Spring, MD
Sun Feb 10, 2013
Hi chuckdt, it depends on the school if you think your resale will go to customers looking for a particular school type. Maybe a better idea would be to look at the history of sales near schools in the area.
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Your Solar R…, Agent, Silver Spring, MD
Sun Feb 3, 2013
I am a local agent and resident. I know the kensington neighborhoods schools and communities very well.
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Natalie Dean, Agent, ANNAPOLIS, MD
Mon Apr 30, 2012
We answer hundreds of questions per month from clients just like you, except they consistently WANT to know about the closest schools and what district the house is located in at present. All this said, being close to a school can be fantastic for resale values especially if the school ends up being rated very well. People love parks but the bedroom community of Kensington is equally fond of schools as well. If I can be of further assistance please let me know.

All the Best!
Natalie Dean
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