Street Corners vs. Cul de SacsJanuary 11, 2010
Submitted by Bill Rawlings, REALTOR®, Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty
REAL estate agents often chant the mantra “location, location, location,” which essentially means “find a home in a well-kept neighborhood with good schools and a low crime rate.”
Some may cite a fourth factor, “walkability,” a concept supported by self-styled “new urbanists” who advocate denser cities designed for the pedestrian and mass transit as much as for the car. In their ideal neighborhood, you could walk to a bookstore and then to an ice cream shop, and your children could walk to school, probably unescorted. (It sounds like so many movie depictions of America in the 1950s.)
They argue that walkability lowers crime — that good people on the streets drive away the bad guys — and that it generally improves life and sharply raises home values. Whether it helps homes retain their value when the market slumps, however, seems a harder question to answer.
A study published in August by C.E.O.’s for Cities, a group of urban redevelopment advocates, found that in many ways, the street corner beats the cul de sac. It looked at the sales of 90,000 homes in 15 markets to estimate how much value was associated with something called the Walk Score. Using a 100-point scale, this score rates the number of destinations, including libraries, parks and coffee shops, within walking distance of a home.
Please click here for the entire article from the New York Times on the factoring walkability into the value for homes.