Are you looking for a home that is close enough to stroll to nearby attractions? One of the attractive qualities of living in an area like Prescott, Arizona, is the luxury of area attractions being close enough to reach by walking. Residents near downtown can walk to the numerous venues and shops located in the famous, beautiful, and historic downtown.
But how do you know if the house you are looking at is close enough to walk to nearby attractions? Are there busy roads to make this an option? What about biking? Is the potential house the right candidate for commuting with your bike?
Fortunately for potential homebuyers, there is a free service that can help answer these questions. The Walkscore.com website calculates the Walkability Score of a property.
Walk Score is a company which “analyzes hundreds of walking routes to nearby amenities. Points are awarded based on the distance to amenities in each category. Amenities within a 5-minute walk (.25 miles) are given maximum points. A decay function is used to give points to more distant amenities, with no points given after a 30-minute walk.”
Additionally, Walk Score looks at pedestrian friendliness, a component that considers population density, block length, and intersection density.
Rankings are based on a 0 - 100 scale. Here’s how the scores translate to an area’s walkability:
90 - 100: Walker’s Paradise. Daily errands do not require a car.
70 - 89: Very Walkable. Most errands can be accomplished on foot.
50 - 69: Somewhat Walkable. Some errands can be accomplished on foot.
25 - 49: Car-Dependent. Most errands require a car.
0 - 24: Car-Dependent. Almost all errands require a car.
In addition to a Walkability Score, Walk Score also evaluates for Transit Score (how well a location is served by public transit) and Bike Score (whether an area is suitable for biking).
All three of these scores can help you determine your values when you’re buying a home. They can also be useful to profile the kind of buyer who might be interested in a home you’re selling. It’s important to understand that a high or low walkability score is not necessarily bad. It all depends on personal values. (Someone who wouldn’t walk to errands anyway might find themselves bothered by the proximity to highly-trafficked commercial businesses, for example.)
How to Use the Service
1. Simply enter an address
2. That’s it!
You will get reports of the pros and cons of walking and biking from that address to nearby shops and attractions. The service also supplies a map of the area that was analyzed.
If you’re curious about your own home’s walkability score, or you’d like to learn about the most and least walkable neighborhoods in a given city, you can search for addresses on the Walk Score website at http://www.walkscore.com/.
This address is in rural Prescott Valley. So obviously, it has a low Walk Score.
The property is near downtown Prescott, it has a much better Walk Score.