These days more and more home buyers contact me with the goal of buying a home in a walkable neighborhood. Most don't ask me in those terms, usually they say they want to buy a home in an area where they can walk to a restaurant, park and the bus stop. Sometimes buyers need these amenities close by because they prefer not to drive, can't drive or they are committed to using only one car in a two or more driver family!
No matter how they ask I hear "walkable neighborhood." Lucky for us some brilliant people have put together a website that actually has a way to measure the "walkability" of many metro neighborhoods. Ha! Where do these people come up with these ideas!
Getting a Walk Score is just as easy as inputting the address, waiting a few seconds and walla! There's your score along with all the attractions/amenities on a Google map for you to see! How easy is that?
What makes a neighborhood walkable?
According to Walk Score a neighborhood should have a "center." It needs to be have "density" or a compact composition in order to support public transportation and enough local businesses to stay in business. There should be a diverse cross-section of incomes providing housing across all levels. Parks and public space are also very important to provide places to play and congregate. Naturally the neighborhood needs to be "foot friendly". If you can't walk safely on a sidewalk, it just isn't going to work!
I don't know about you, but a place like this sounds very appealing to me. How the people who invented lay out the scores is beyond me.
Is there a downside?
Probably! As much as I am excited about having an easy method for measuring a home's walk score, I can't imagine it being the sole reason for purchasing a home or not...
Just for grins I input a home I have listed in Denver's City Park. This home is located one block from the entrance to the City Park Golf Course. Now this may not be an exciting feature for everyone, ask a golfer and I will guarantee they will agree, this location is awesome.
Well the Walk Score people only gave my listing a score of 52! I suspect golf course homes don't rate extra points! Boo!
OK, I won't contest, but I would like to encourage any golfer out there who is interested in buying a nice urban Denver home close to a golf course, Denver City Park, Denver Zoo and a few minutes from downtown Denver to give me a call!
Operators are standing by! (yes LIVE operators!)