Studies have shown that residents of walkable homes benefit from tremendous economic, health, and economic gains compared to those who live in areas where cars are the dominant mode of getting around. I want to take a few moments to look into why walkability matters for homeowners, and how you can leverage walkability to protect and grow your home investment dollars.
Walkability is in Vogue
As cities continue to grow in popularity, these areas also offer homeowners the ability to increase the appreciation their homes experience, as these neighborhoods are in short supply, and vast swathes of United States housing stock is nearly unwalkable- think rows and rows of suburban homes with no businesses, industry, or cultural centers for miles. Purchasing in a walkable area will not only measurably improve your life, and the lives of your family, it may cause home value appreciation above what you would get in a traditional tract-house neighborhood.
How to Find Walkable Homes
Walkable homes tend to cluster in dense urban areas, particularly in big cities like NYC, Philadelphia, or Miami. However, there are many, many walkable homes in communities throughout the United States- from scenic Bucks County to the suburban Bay Area. In fact, every major geographic area in the United States has at least a few housing developments or communities that are eminently walkable- very likely including the general area in which you are searching for a home.
Visit Popular Areas
If you already have a general geographic region in mind, take a trip and visit the most bustling neighborhoods. Walkability is highly correlated with nearby social and economic activity- so look out for things like churches, community centers, restaurants and nightlife options, and other places you would find in any busy area- now keep an eye out for nearby homes or condo buildings. This is where you begin your walkability search.
Find Walkability Scores
Once you’ve located a neighborhood or the general location you want to buy in, you can search for the walkability scores of a given neighborhood, like Center City, Downtown, Brooklyn, etc. The first couple search results on Google are usually pretty good, with sites like WalkScore, Redfin Walkability Score, and Market Urbanism’s Neighborhood Walkability Guide.
Speak to a Realtor
If you’re unable to find your walkable paradise, you can always reach out for help from a professional. One of the primary benefits offered by professional representation is the fact that they are in the community and have first-hand knowledge of the walkability of a given neighborhood or property- something that websites like Zillow and Redfin simply cannot offer.
For more walkability and home buying tips, check out our blog. If you are interested in buying or selling a home in Philadelphia or the surrounding regions, we can help. Reach out to Coldwell Banker Hearthside today!