The other day I posted Getting to Walkability presentation from DC office of Planning. It got me thinking that the same method can also be used by buyers. DC is using the walkability for different things related to planning, for transportation and neighborhood livability. I know from my days in the trenches, few of my buyers were looking for the walkability factor.
Personally, for me, the ability to walk to everything comes to reality, when we had the snowoverkill last January. After two days of home stay, I walked to the nearest store 7/11.. and you know what, we had lines. As crazy as it sounds, people were actually find comfort to know that their neighborhood's store is open.
Washington DC is number 7 out of 2,508 walkable neighborhoods in the nation. You can find walkers paradise or neighborhoods that have high score of walkability in DC. Out of perfect 100 score, these are best 10 walkable neighborhoods in DC: Dupont Circle (99), Logan Circle (98), Downtown (97-all points), U Street Corridor (97), Foggy Bottom (95), Mount Vernon Square (95), Adams Morgan (93), Kalorama (92) , Friendship Heights (90) and Georgetown (90). Low on the list is Catholic U (61), Petworth (60), Foxhall Village (58), Berkley (54), Deanwood (49), The Palisades (48), Anacostia (48) and Barnaby Woods (44).
The walkable neighborhoods mostly concentrated in the District. Across the river, depending on where you want to buy - Arlington County, City of Alexandria and Falls Church - these neighborhoods offer somewhat walkable. Along the orange line, that stretch from Rosslyn to East- West Falls Church, they have some neighborhoods that have higher walkable score.
There's an advantage to living in walkable neighborhoods. You're within walking distance to shopping, transportation, parks, library and other neighborhood amenities. However, good location has something to do with home prices. The price per square footage will be higher.
Let's say, you are looking for a single home somewhere in Falls Church near zip code 22043, which is outside the boundary of the City of Falls Church. Using Homes Database, I picked these four single homes below. These four homes are somewhat comparable #1 and 2, #3 and 4.
House #1: 2003 Miracle Lane, list price $680,000
House #2: 6727 Montour Drive, list price $670,000
House #3: 6503 Orland Street, list price $649,000
House #4: 2400 Claremont Drive, list price $649,000
First thing you do is to enter the address of each of the home you're looking at to get the walk score here. Once done, it'll populated with information that can help you decide, i.e. metro station, stores, library, school, etc. - anything that's close by.
Here's what the score tells you:
- House #1: is totally car dependent. Score is 20 out of 100. The nearest 7/11 (in case of snow) is about 0.92 mi.
- House #2: car dependent. Score 28. However, you're about half a mile walk to Orange line .
- House #3: car dependent. Better score 30. It's close to Haycock Elementary school, about half a mile.
- House #4: still car dependent. Score 45. This one has the best score so far. Subway, Starbucks within half a mile. But away from a metro station.
So now you decide, which one that best fits your needs.
SELLERS: you can also do the same - find the score - to give that extra kick on the value of your home.