Considering downsizing, or buying a home in a new neighborhood? Walkability is an important factor for many buyers today. Neighborhoods with sidewalks, close to public transportation, shopping, and other amenities can be very attractive to buyers who love to walk, are concerned about health, or who are planning to age in place. Find out how to judge the walkability of a new neighborhood before you buy!
Walkable Neighborhoods Bring Health Benefits
You’ve already heard that Millennials, probable future buyers of your home, favor walkable neighborhoods where they can reach transit, restaurants, and shopping without a car.
But there’s another reason to pick a walkable community when you’re downsizing or choosing a new neighborhood. Walkable communities can have a positive effect on your health, specifically your blood pressure.
That’s according to preliminary findings of a study (see: http://www.medicaldaily.com/people-who-live-within-walking-distance-everything-may-be-less-likely-develop-high-360770 and http://newsroom.heart.org/file?fid=563f40d75e8eef6250536c2f) by Dr. Maria Chiu, a scientist with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The research suggests that people living in walkable neighborhoods had a 54 percent lower risk of high blood pressure when compared to those who moved to less walkable areas.
Researchers used Walk Score a site that allows you to type in an address to see just how walkable it is, and data from the Canadian Community Health Survey to see what happened to participants’ blood pressure as they moved from highly walkable neighborhoods to less walkable areas.
The theory is that those living in pedestrian-friendly areas incorporated physical activity into their routines as they went about taking care of the daily tasks of life.