Should You Buy A Home Near A Forest?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with The Buyer Brokerage

When the pandemic hit, I started walking in the forest near my home.

  No matter what the weather, I walked in the forest. I identified redbuds, oak, maple, beech, and river birch trees. I took deep breathes and enjoyed my time away from a computer and phone. Like so many people, it took me weeks to settle into working, sleeping, eating, and spending most of my day at home. What made my life easier was time spent in the forest. 

trail in a forest

Is brain function improved by living near a forest? 

It turns out there are numerous studies that show living near a forest or spending time in nature helps us better cope with daily stress. And you don't need to live in the country to benefit from nature.

According to Central Park Conservancy, walking in the park during the pandemic has become a mental health necessity. In fact Dr. Shane O'Mara, a neuroscientist and professor at Trinity College Dublin says walking is at the core of our humanity. 

Residents of Washington DC have  Rock Creek Park, a 32 mile forested trail from just above the National Mall through

Montgomery County Maryland.  One day many years ago, I picked up my in-laws up from National airport and drove home through Rock Creek Park. While still in Washington DC, my mother in law commented on how quickly we had left the city. When I told her we were still in Washington DC, she couldn't believe it.


"We are in a forest, how could we still be in the city?" she asked. 

For 100+ years residents of the District have enjoyed this beautiful forest. In addition to Rock Creek Park, Washington DC has the Anacostia Park and many large city parks offering green sprawling lawns under old large trees. During the pandemic, I saw more people than ever walking in Rock Creek.

In his book, In Praise of Walking, Dr. O'Mara says when our bodies are outdoors and in motion we think more creatively, our mood improves and our stress levels fall. 

I've noticed a shift in buying habits for many homebuyers. Over the past couple of years, more of my home buying clients want a home close to green space, forests and parks. More homebuyers want easy access to the outdoors where they can take a break from work. The needs & wants list of many buyers has 'close to green space' at the top of the needs category. 

Forests and parks are an important part of urban planning.  I'm heartened by the numerous studies showing the value of forests to the quality of life and our overall  well being.  






Posted by

Victoria Ray Henderson

Broker in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia with The Buyer Brokerage in McLean Virginia. 


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Comments (5)

Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I totally agree. Spending time in a forest has multiple benefits to our health and well being. I too have been able to walk in the woods for the last few years and it's been such a wonderful blessing.

Enjoy your day!

Nov 30, 2021 04:57 AM
Victoria Ray Henderson

Thank you Kat! We are kindred spirits

Nov 30, 2021 05:59 PM
Bill Salvatore - YVP Blog
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - Valley of the Sun /

We bought land and built a Lincoln Log home in NH back in the 80's.  We had to have the kids wear bright orange hats and vests in the Fall when outside playing. Have a great and productive Tuesday, sell a house and remember its TACO TUESDAY, bill

Nov 30, 2021 05:01 AM
Victoria Ray Henderson

Thank you Bill and smart parenting on your part to have your children wear orange vests when they played outside-yikes! I did not know it was Taco Tuesday but I'll celebrate it no

Nov 30, 2021 06:02 PM
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Thanks for sharing Vicotoria!!!

There are numerous studies that show living near a forest or spending time in nature helps us to better cope with daily stress. And you don't need to live in the country to benefit from nature.

Nov 30, 2021 05:58 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

There is a lot to be said for the therapeutic value of the outdoors and the more often a person spends in the  great outdoors the happy and healthier they will be

Nov 30, 2021 08:03 AM
Victoria Ray Henderson

I agree Ed Silva! Thanks for the comment

Nov 30, 2021 06:02 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing your observations and your advice.

Daily walks to enjoy nature are a free form of effective therapy.

Nov 30, 2021 09:31 AM