“Walkable houses in Charlottesville” – one of the more frequent requests I get both from buyer clients and from visitors to this site.
But “walkable” means different things to different people.
Clarifying and pulling out buyers’ true intents is one of the most useful skills a good real estate agent brings to the table. For example, when a new buyer client tells me that he wants to be within “walking distance” of the Downtown Mall, I always follow up with:
“What is walking distance to you?”
“Your response of “less than 30 minute walking distance” is why I asked â€¦ my non-American-based clients have a much more liberal definition of close (usually less than 30 minutes or 2 miles) than do my American clients (less than 10 minutes or 5 blocks).”
So the question is – what does walkable mean to you?
As I do with a lot of the stories that make it to this here real estate blog, I started by asking on the social networks – Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and the responses were interesting and varied.
I’ve found that “walkable” to me means “bike able” – I’m usually on a tighter schedule than walking allows, and I’ve found Charlottesville and Crozet to be pretty bike able as long as common sense is exercised (something sorely lacking in too many drivers and bicyclists).
You can even search for homes in Charlottesville and Albemarle using Walkscore as a your guide, keeping in mind that it’s a guide - if a place has a score of 3, it’s probably not walkable. 93, you’re probably ok.
Update 5 December 2011:
But what makes high-density neighborhoods pedestrian friendly?
Good public space, for starters.
The best public spaces encourage diverse urban experiences, from people watching to protesting, daydreaming to handball, eating, reading and sunbathing to strolling and snoozing.