The weather has finally changed and the smell of fall is in the air. Time to hike, bike, go apple picking, and WALK! Instead of trying to make time to walk, why not make walking part of your everyday routine? It’s possible when you live in a walkable community.
Ranked by Walk Score as the second most walkable city in Virginia out of more than 60 cities studied, many Alexandrians already know the benefits of walkable communities. Residents of neighborhoods such as Old Town, Del Ray, Beverley Hills, Rosemont and lesser know communities such as Dyes Oakcrest already live this walking lifestyle.
In a recent survey by the Urban Land Institute, 50% of respondents said that walkability is either the top or a high priority in where they would choose to live. For millennials, that number was 56%. When asked why they want or like walkable neighborhoods, people often site convenience and a greater sense of community. Those are absolutely important, but there are even more benefits.
Homes in Walkable Neighborhoods Hold Their Value
Walkable neighborhoods in cities across the country demonstrate greater tax revenue per square foot than any other type of development. And multiple surveys by the National Association of Realtors show that walkability is directly linked to increasing property values. So, in an ever-competitive real estate market, why not buy in a community that is more valuable and more likely to increase in value?
Cars are Expensive
According to AAA, in 2015 the average cost to own and operate a vehicle was $8,698 (more than $10,000 per year for SUVs). While it may not be realistic to give up cars altogether, living in a walkable community can enable people to own fewer cars per household or certainly drive their existing vehicles less per year. Which means more money in your pocket, not to mention cleaner air from reduced car emissions.
More Community Businesses Benefit
When walking to shopping and errands, studies show that people visit more stores per outing as opposed to when doing errands in their car. And those stores tend to be locally owned. Why not stop by and pick up that unique gift at the specialty store right next door to the grocery store and local wine shop? That’s good for your time management and good for those many extra local businesses that you visit. A great way to be a neighborhood champion and “shop small”.
You Live a Longer and Healthier Life
We all know how good we feel after a walk outside, especially on a gorgeous fall day. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular brisk walking helps you maintain a healthy weight, prevent or manage conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, strengthen your bones and muscles, improve you mood, and improve your balance and coordination. One recent study says that walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week, adds 1.3-1.5 years to your life. So for every minute you spend walking, you get three back!
If you are looking to make the smart move to or within a walkable community in Alexandria, give me a call at (703) 864-3438 or email me. I’m here 7 days a week, and ready to take you on a tour of some of the most charming and walkable neighborhoods in Alexandria!
Interested in a walkable community? Check out our listing in Alexandria City.