The Current “Walkability” Trend in Home-buying

Orange County residents live an active lifestyle. Whether it’s walking, jogging, water sports, or anything in between, they always seem to be on the go— and with good reason. Being health conscious, they know that physical activity is an important element of their overall health. In fact, keeping things moving is just as critical to good health as your favorite smoothie or hot yoga class. After all, our bodies weren’t designed to live a couch potato lifestyle! Currently, this “on the go” preference has become all the rage for home buyers, when choosing a home.

The term is “walkability” and lately it’s on top of both realtor’s and home buyers minds. Walkability refers to how “user friendly” any given neighborhood is. For instance, a neighborhood with plenty of jogging paths, a market, breakfast cafe, and child-friendly park within quick walking distance from its homes would be considered to have a high walkability rating; while one with minimal sidewalk space and widely spread apart errand destinations wouldn’t make the cut.

How it helps home sellers

Sellers who have a “high walkability” rating in regard to their home can increase their asking price; After all, they possess a property feature that’s in high demand. The beauty about this home feature— as opposed to many others— is that it comes at no cost to homeowners (i.e. there are no upgrades that need to be performed to make the property more attractive to buyers).

In fact, this windfall is the complete opposite of a homeowner spending $30,000 on a pool in order to increase their home value. Not sure how to quantify your home’s walkability rating? The computer app SpatialMatch can point you in the right direction.

For home buyers

Don’t be afraid to ask for a home’s walkability rating when shopping for a new home. If your real estate agent is up to date on current real estate trends, they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about. Better yet, determine it for yourself by walking around neighborhoods you’re considering buying in.

As a realtor

As a realtor, a home’s walkability rating is on the top of my mind when discussing features with potential buyers. It’s important to me, because it’s important to them! So don’t be afraid to ask. You aren’t being picky; instead, you’re looking to make your life more convenient, while also maintaining your healthy lifestyle.

As a general rule, Orange County cities like Laguna and Dana Point possess high walkability ratings; however these are hardly your only options. With a little research, we’ll find a home that suits all your walkability needs… so have your track shoes on stand-by!

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