Determine a home’s walkability before you buy

Hand holding picture of house against landscape

The high price of gas has made a home that's within walking distance of stores, restaurants, schools and parks more valuable than ever.

Walkscore.com provides one of the easiest ways to judge that. You just put in the address of a home, and the site calculates how far it is to dozens of the nearest businesses and public services.

It not only displays those distances, but helps you compare homes by grading their walkability on a scale of 0 to 100, or from worst to best.

Since there's no reason to think gas prices will take a big tumble anytime soon, homes that rank high on the Walkscore.com scale could appreciate more quickly, making them a better long-term investment.

The site isn't perfect.

Our biggest problem with Walkscore.com is that it doesn't provide information about bus stops or train stations, or include the proximity to public transportation in its calculations.

Being able to walk to a bus, subway or commuter line is more important than being able to hoof it to a coffee shop or gym, which are among the businesses that are listed and scored.

Distances also are calculated as the crow flies, which can be deceptive if you must walk around a big lake or shopping center to get somewhere.

But Walkscore.com is still a good way to assess how much you can do without a car.


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