Low mortgage rates are pushing home prices, but so is lack of inventory.
What is walking distance?
Walking distance is a measure of the distance from a home or neighborhood to businesses, public transit, schools, shopping centers and other vital places. In general, walking distance is considered to be between one and 10 blocks, or around 400 to 500 meters.
In recent years, walking distance has become an important factor in house hunting. Due to environmental and health concerns, a lot of people who are buying homes prefer places where they can walk to their destinations rather than drive. This trend has led to walking distance and walkability influencing where new homes are built and how existing homes are marketed to prospective buyers.
Some locations may have a numerical “walk score” that grades their proximity to parks, grocers, etc. A good walk score can raise a home’s value.
A walk score also takes into account whether an area is safe for pedestrians and offers features such as walking paths or sidewalks. The higher the score, the more walkable an area is. But if most, or all, destinations in an area are reachable only by car, the walk score will be low.
Walking distance example
A young couple are looking to buy a home, and one of the features they want is a place where shopping centers, public transit stops, restaurants and businesses are within 10 blocks or so. Many of the online real estate listings they check include a walk score or information about what is within walking distance of the listing. The couple eventually find a single-family home that is within a few blocks of a good school, a large grocery store, a park and playgrounds and a couple of restaurants. The couple paid a little more for the place but consider it a good investment because they will be able to walk most places.
Use Bankrate’s calculator to determine how much house you can afford to buy.