Walkable Cities: The Newest Priority on Your Homebuyer List

In the past several months, many of us have come to appreciate some of life’s simplicities: getting out for a bike ride, strolling through the neighborhood with family, or walking to a favorite outdoor eatery. Though our fondness for such little pleasures has been reborn partly out of necessity, these qualities are becoming more and more popular for homeowners.

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Why Walkability?

If walkability, or how safe, convenient, and comfortable it is to traverse through a city, is becoming high on your homeowner priority list, you’re not alone. A Redfin study found that homes within walking distance of schools, shopping, parks and other urban amenities sell for an average of 23.5%, or $77,668, more than similar homes that are car dependent. On top of that, finding your next home in a walkable city means you’ll likely depend on a car less, and thus get more exercise and help out the environment.

Key Features of Walkability

The Errands Test: Just because you see locals out for an evening stroll doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve found a walkable city. To truly be considered walkable, you’ll have to consider a prospective neighborhood from the eyes of someone with a to-do list. Could you accomplish most of your daily errands without a car? Whether that means convenient bike rentals or high-quality foot paths, you’ll begin to appreciate a city’s walkability when you determine how difficult such a task would be.

Person-centered: Communities designed (or redesigned) to be walkable are thought of from a people, not car, centered. Look for outdoor dining, public parks, and schools all within walking distance. Sidewalks and pathways should provide easy lines of travel and sight between points of interest and be well-maintained.

Inviting: Comfort, accessibility, and attractiveness should be apparent from a pedestrian’s point of view. The opportunity to explore should jump out at you, and the safety to do so should be apparent.

If you’re interested in whether your current city makes the list of those that are most walkable, be sure to check out more about the walkability score method.

And once you’re ready to relocate, make your first move calling the professionals at Beltmann and get your free quote.