With Thanksgiving Dinner upon us, I’m here to arm you with some fun facts to have in your back pocket if you need some conversation pieces as you pass the mashed potatoes or slice the pumpkin pie.

I get the question often, so recently I was curious to find out the average prices we pay for homes attached to certain high schools, and how much we save for the same size homes when we’re within other school boundaries within Falls Church. Since I took the time to find out, and to break it down by home size and/or bedroom count, I figured others out there might be curious to see the results.

Homes in Falls Church feed into 5 different high schools, George Mason, Falls Church, Marshall, Justice, and McLean. For this study I pulled all the closed sales in the past year for only the homes with a Falls Church address in each school pyramid. In Falls Church City that is all sales of course, but I suspect many will be surprised by how many Falls Church sales feed the McLean High School data. 

Of course, a number of variables beyond school boundary go into home purchase decisions, among them are a combination of location and its impact on commutes, affordability, and access to conveniences such as restaurants and shopping. If someone is less interested in schools, affordability may get more weight, or if they’re working in Tysons they may choose a McLean pyramid address over a Justice pyramid primarily due to commute (despite the premium on price). Someone may choose a Justice address because it’s closer to the Pentagon, while someone else may choose George Mason because they want to bike to work on the W&OD, and walk to the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.

In some cases tax rate may be a factor. In the first data subset in the graphic you’ll see homes in the George Mason boundary (City of Falls Church) had an average sales price of $1,438,146. Because Fairfax County has a tax rate of 1% per $100 rather than the 1.33% in the City of Falls Church, folks in Fairfax County would be able to pay around $1,525,000 before they had the same mortgage payment based on today’s interest rates and a 20% down payment.

That all to say, we can’t assume the variances are exclusively due to school choice, however, I wanted to see the numbers side by side through that schools lens to see just where things fell in the last 12 months. If it strikes a chord of interest, maybe I’ll plan to revisit the comparison annually