'Walk Score: Very Important Info for Your Home's Value
Well, when you value a home, you always consider the room count, bedrooms, baths, type of kitchen, and a lot of other items as well. In the past couple of years, a new item has entered the consideration of a home's value. That is the "Walk Score". Basically, it is the 'score' given to a home based on the walkability from the home to various other sites in town.
It turns out that walkability is emerging as a major factor in homebuyer preferences as families increasingly turn away from cookie-cutter developments devoid of retail stores and restaurants in favor of mixed-use neighborhoods.
Sixty percent of Americans say they favor suburban neighborhoods with a mix of houses and stores and other businesses that are easy to walk to over neighborhoods that require greater driving among home, work, and recreation, according to a Community Preference Survey just released by the National Association of Realtors.
The least-popular neighborhood is a suburban one with just houses in it, the survey found.
“Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach, smart growth is typically characterized by mixed-use development, higher densities, and pedestrian-friendly streets that accommodate a wide diversity of transportation modes,” said NAR President Gary Thomas, in a statement accompanying the survey results.
The survey was backed up by a study last year by The Brookings Institution that found that the more walkable an area is, the higher the real estate values and rents are there.
The NAR survey was posted online a few days before Walk Score released its latest annual ranking of the most walkable U.S. cities and neighborhoods.
San Francisco remains the second most walkable city the country, according to Walk Score (New York is No. 1), while Oakland moved up a notch to No. 9. The ranking is based on access to nearby amenities and “pedestrian friendliness.”
San Francisco also ranked No. 2 in the nation among transit-friendly and bike-friendly cities.
While the above info is centered on San Francisco, for the most part, it is worth noting that a lot of the items that give many of its better homes a high walk score are similar to the factors existing in many of Marin's town and cities. What does that mean? It means, simply, that these locales are very desirable, even before considering specific homes, due to their high scores. That desirability translates into higher values for you when you consider selling your home.
For a discussion of these and other factors in valuing your home, give us a call. We'd be happy to help you properly price your home. Peter: (415) 279-6466; Jane: (415) 531-4091.