Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About WalkScores - And Some Personal Comment.
Back-in-the-day, walking was a necessity, a significant means of getting to where you wanted or needed to go. In more recent years, walking is seen as a beneficial way to strengthen your heart, lose weight, reduce blood sugar, treat high blood pressure and increase your general feeling of well being (something to do with endorphins). If your doctor approves, walking can be (and in my opinion - should be) a part of your daily routine. Walking has become a part of the lifestyle for many.
Of course, Walking for enjoyment and exercise depends on a great number of community characteristics: 1) is the weather conducive to walking or is snow and ice a real hazard?, 2) are there well lit and good sidewalks in safe areas?, 3) is the terrain appropriate for your capabilities - will hills raise the pulse rate way beyond your limit?, 4) is traffic an issue?, 5) are there places to stop along the way?, 6) are there walkable destinations that could make walking fun or add to convenience?
So, what does this have to do with real estate?
There is an interesting trend underway for home buyers to want more information about a property than is supplied in the MLS. Bedroom and bath count are basic, but Lifestyle information is in ever greater demand.
Enter the web page called WalkScores.
the WalkScores site is not a panacea in that they simply can't address my first five items above, but they do an admirable job of tackling the walking destinations in an area. Their scoring system (1 to 100) rates "how easy it is to live a car-lite lifestyle" given a one mile radius of the address you are considering.
A rating of 0 to 49 means that living in the target area pretty much requires a car. My home ranked a 34 meaning there are few amenities for me to walk to. It doesn't mean that my neighborhood isn't beautiful or that it only has dirt paths on which to walk... just that there are very few coffee shops, restaurants, grocery stores, schools, parks, book stores, theatres or banks within that mile radius.
A ranking of 70 to 89 gets a "Very Walkable" designation meaning that you can take care of most of your errands on foot.
90 to 100 means you are in a "Walkers Paradise" - leave the car in the parking structure.
Complete with a Google Map of the area, the real benefit is that all of the amenities are listed by company type, name and distance from your chosen address. How great is that for a Realtor(R) Open House? This is an ad supported site so printouts will be commercialized.
So, whether you walk to get healthy, get happy or get a latte at the coffee shop, there are neighborhood benefits to consider besides the features of the home you are considering. Be sure to consider these things too when you are close to making your final decision.
What lifestyle information do you need?... Curious minds want to know.
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It's All About YOU! Brad Rachielles, REALTOR, Upland, CA
Brad Rachielles, REALTOR. Helping Inland Empire Buyers and Sellers with their Real Estate needs in the Communities of: Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Claremont, Ontario, Chino, Chino Hills, Pomona and La Verne, CA.
Web Page: http://www.BradRachielles.com