Do Walkable Neighborhoods Matter?

Walkable Neighborhoods: Fad or Here to Stay?Do Walkable Neighborhoods Matter?

Walkable neighborhoods mean that you can walk or bike to restaurants and retail.   I can honestly say more buyers are asking for homes within walking distance to grocery stores, restaurants, and Orlando trails.  Studies show that a walkable neighborhood is more than just a trend.  I believe that they are becoming more popular.


A National Association of Realtors survey found that 60 percent of owners favor walkable.  They are looking for a mix of houses and stores within walking distance.  Many prefer to walk or bike.  The American Planning Association shows that 56 percent of millennial and 46 percent baby boomers want to live in more walkable neighborhoods. Urban Land Institute and others are finding the same results.  People want to walk more and drive less.


Outdated Building Codes for neighborhoods

Neighborhoods and cities are typically designed and built to accommodate cars. There has not been an emphasis on pedestrian designed areas until the last decade.  Building codes are designed to keep commercial and residential separate and not combined for an emphasis on walking or biking.


Municipalities must create new building codes called Formed-Based codes.  These allow developers the flexibility to build mix uses areas and integrate these within neighborhoods.  Columbia Pike corridor in Arlington County, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Miami have restructured their building codes to have more walkable spaces.


Walkable has to be safe, buffered away from the busy roads.  That makes for a good design a with a nice view of landscaping.


Pay attention to Walk Score

Redfin, the owners, of “Walk Score” does a good job providing the Walk Score number for their home listings.  A Walk Score is a score on how walkable a home is to retail stores and amenities. Studies show that for every walk score point assigned it increases the homes median sales price by 1 percent or $3,250.  Just by moving 1 point in walk score from 79 to 80 points is creating a value of $7000 in certain high demand areas.  Walk scores of 70-89 are considered very walkable and scores of 90-100 are considered a walkers paradise.


Walk scores above 70 can add value to your home…  


Studies of the 30 largest metropolitan areas show that a walkable urban development is outpacing suburban locations with more office, retail, and multi-family housing.  This concept is creating more foot traffic and the rent premiums for these spaces are increasing from 66-90%.

How does Orlando Stack up?

Orlando’s urban sprawl is only 3% walkable.  Orlando is making strides to create a more walkable city.   Sunrail stations are the anchor for multi-family homes. Furthermore, this will grow into mini-shopping centers increasing real estate value around Sunrail stations. A biking and walking bridge will connect North Downtown to Central Downtown to various urban trails.  Slowly, the city is creating a volume of pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods,  growing the walkable neighborhoods.


Orlando Walkable Neighborhoods

Some of the notable Orlando walkable neighborhoods would be Baldwin Park, Downtown Orlando, College Park, Celebration, Storey Park, and Hamlin just to name a few.  These walkable neighborhoods come with a price premium.  This is often the case throughout for walkable neighborhoods anywhere in the nation.


Having trouble finding a walkable property?  Just ask me.  As an Exclusive Buyers Broker expert, I can help identify those hard to find properties.  Don’t stress…I can make your home buying a smooth transaction anywhere in Central Florida.  Read this 5-Star Review and call me.  Erika Phelan  407-539-1053.


One response to “Do Walkable Neighborhoods Matter?”

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