Is a Walkable Neighborhood Important To You?

I have noticed that buyers are looking for walkable neighborhoods. This is true for singles, couples and young families? Has anyone else noticed this trend?
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January 18 2011 - Minneapolis
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Answers (25)

Profile picture for Ben Ganje

  Putting together a Southwest Minneapolis Neighborhood Directory of a fair amount of the walkable neighborhoods in Minneapolis.  Buyers and Sellers find this very helpful.

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November 25 2013
I think a safe neighborhood is the important part.  We have a lot of parks and walking trails in Minneapolis.  We are actually #1 in the country for parks per capita.  But yeah, people like to walk it seems.  Maybe more people are thinking about the environment.
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November 08 2013
We live in a Historic neighborhood that restricts the ability to tear down a house, which means no McMansions in our neighborhood, for the sake of a newer contemporary house. So we have a grid system, with sidewalks and neighbors who care about their houses and the neighborhood. To me, it is the people who make the difference in a walkable neighborhood.

All the best to you, great question.
Liz
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August 15 2013
I prefer the open out doors and things spread out. 

Most amenities are a mile+  away but not in your face and you still have the sense privacy, the trails to the mountains are close and I love taking the 4 wheeler up to watch the sun set...this year I have found others up there doing the same with their families.

On our house searches  if we can see the neighbors house in the photos we (x) it out.

I do think community is important and I strongly believe in keeping things in your back yard...so to speak, hire local, shop local (even if it costs a little more) and support the area and it's people around you.
But as for living in it ... no... walkable amenities would be a big turn off.
-Joseph-
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August 15 2013
Profile picture for brandonnick
For my family (I suppose we fit into the young family category) walkability is a driving factor in every place we have lived.  My wife doesn't drive and I don't enjoy driving.  We made sure we purchased our home within walking distance of schools for our school age daughter and soon to be school aged son.  As a bonus they will be able to use public transportation to several universities if we are here long enough.  It was also important for me to be able to have the option of using public transportation to get to work and back.  I currently use public transportation to get to work but we have a car because it's nice to have options.  We don't have a ton of space though, and I wouldn't necessarily say it's a bad thing but it would be nice to have a yard, garage, wood shop, etc... to pursue hobbies in (again options), but guess when it came down to it we chose to live as close in as possible without sacrificing a decent school for our kids.  We are in Northern Virginia within the DC beltway.  Would have lived in DC but schools we're an issue.  We lived outside of the beltway for about a year before buying within the beltway (The only time we didn't consider walkability).  I'm glad we did because it made us realize that we were not really happy living where we couldn't get to the grocery store, work, see other people, or do anything without getting in the car.
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August 14 2013
I've noticed this trend as well. If not for the kids, then for their own health or walking dogs, etc.
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February 01 2011
Walkability is extremely important in an area like Loma Linda.
My listing at 11423 Campus in Loma Linda, a  beautiful view home with a pool, for $299900.00. About 2 blocks to Loma Linda University Hospital or Medical Center. It takes longer to drive and park than it does to walk!  Also a short walk to the local market, bank, and restaurants.
The walkability score for this area should be much much higher.
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January 25 2011
Profile picture for SoCal_Engr
@ Wetdawgs...

Similar story here. Our neighborhood, and pretty much the immediate area within a 5-mile radius, is mostly a combination of low-density housing, walking/riding trails, dedicated open-space, and a golf-course-or-two.

It's "walkable", but a different kind. People who like to bike/run/walk have a great time on the trails.
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January 19 2011
Profile picture for wetdawgs
While we love walking, we located in an area with a walk score of about 30 when we moved in.  Interestingly, the walk score is up to 62 although nothing has changed (except perhaps their model?).    We were attracted to the current home because we have access within 20 seconds by foot of mile and miles of trails, with only one road crossing the heavily wooded trails.   As we use the trails 2x (or more) a day and the grocery store once a week, our score model has different priorities.  (Ah yes, proximity to employment gets a bonus)
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January 19 2011
Profile picture for SoCal_Engr
I've thought about that. Our neighborhood's walk score is a whopping '12', although there are some things that Walkscore.com is not aware of - but not enough to offset a baseline score of '12'.

On the other hand, we constantly get comments from others about how "quiet" and "peaceful" our neighborhood is, or how calming it is to sit on our back patio and just enjoy the afternoon.

Would it be nice to be closer to restaurants/etc.? Probably, but there are plenty within 10 minutes of the house - just not "walkable". As with anything, you make tradeoffs depending on priorities. As we get older, maybe our neighborhood will become a "golfcart community".
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January 19 2011
Profile picture for ajlinda
I've been looking for a great walkable town for a few years. I live not too far from Boston, but I don't want a large city, I want a smaller town. Big cities are over crowded and expensive. Problem is, if you have a small to medium town, everything is spread out. While I was online looking I've seen so many people want the "town" Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls. It had about 10,000 people and you could walk to anything in the town, and there was a city bus to take them to Hartford and all the larger towns. Too bad it was a t.v. show.
  Walkability is how I found out about walk score.
Linda
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January 19 2011
Yes they are becoming important. Here in Rochester, NY we have many subdivisions that are ever popular because of the neighborhood feel it creates. It is very important to many families to have parks, sidewalks and street lights.

Salafia Sold Team
[contact info removed by moderator]
Rochester, NY
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January 19 2011
Its interesting, a lot of my buyers want amenities nearby, but builders don't seem to be building them.....so clients wind up taking it off their list.
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January 19 2011
Profile picture for the_country_hick
Yes, if the road is so busy that I have to wait to walk across it for more than 30 seconds it is a big issue.

Every place I know of is walkable. People walk around sometimes just for something to do.

It is only in places in big cities (50,000 and up) with crowded sidewalks and lots of street traffic that walkability suffers.
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January 19 2011
Profile picture for JoeInSouthernCA
Very, very important.  My currrent home (condo) in Oceanside CA has a Walk Score of 97 (walkscore.com).  I can easily walk to the grocery store;  the movies;  several bars and restaurants;  the train station.
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January 19 2011
Yes, I have seen this "trend" for quite a while. The days of "drive until they qualify" have come back to bite many homeowners that now realize the importance of the overall cost of living when looking for an ideal place to call home.

Transportation costs and time lost while driving can be a significant piece of the puzzle. Add in the convenience factor of being close to where you live, work and play and you begin to enjoy your home so much more.

Walk Score is an amazing tool for people looking for a great place to call home.
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January 19 2011
Profile picture for seabetsy
Walkability was THE most important factor when we bought our house. The house is a total fixer-upper, and teeny tiny, but we love it because we can walk to everything we need in the neighborhood. We used Walk Score extensively when we were exploring different areas of the city.
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January 19 2011
Walkability is important to me and many of my clients looking for homes.  They aare looking for homes where they feel safe going on walks, close enough to walk to the store or a coffee shop, and where streets are wide enough to walk....High on my list also as walking is the easiest, cheapest, and most enjoyable form of exercise!
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January 19 2011
Walkable neighborhoods means safe neighborhoods. Who wouldn't want a safe neighborhoods?
With gym costs going up along with health consciousness, I think people are more apt to do more physical exercise around their neighborhood.
I've noticed the trends as well, especially for families with children.
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January 19 2011
Profile picture for sunnyview
I think that aging baby boomers want walkable and millennials want walkable here. I appreciate walkable and moved from a car only neighborhood to a mix of more walking and less car. It's great. I wish my walkscore was a tad higher, but living where I do makes everything close and means I have no traffic to deal with.
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January 19 2011
Walkability also leads to great exposure and open houses when it's time to sell.  Flyers fly out of the box!  Everyone wins.
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January 19 2011
Profile picture for rockinblu
Having gone from a 17 walk score to a 78, it certainly is for us. Absolutely hard to imagine us going back to the burbs. The vibe of our neighborhood (78704) is incredible.
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January 18 2011
The trend I am noticing is that buyers are buying smaller less expensive homes. With a premium on location to be within walking distance of schools & shopping. A good example is The bridges at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove. Urban like brownstone town homes located in the epicenter of suburban Maple Grove. A lot of activity lately.
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January 18 2011

I would say most buyers want a walkable neighborhoods.

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January 18 2011
Yes, especially in an urban environment. I've found walkscore.com to be a great resource for how walkable the neighborhood is and one for any address to know what is around you.
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January 18 2011
 
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