When determining the overall appeal of a particular home or area, you may hear or see the term ‘walk score’ used. Sometimes the agents will talk about it and sometimes it’s featured along the with the ad or listing.

What the Term Means

Basically, the walk score is a measurement of how easily the residents of the neighbourhood are able to accomplish common, daily errands on foot. Some refer to it as the “walkability” of a certain area or address. Naturally, some cities and areas have much better walk scores than others.

Some of the factors that go into determining a walk score include:

  • Walking access to parks and other recreation spots.
  • Walking access to malls or city centers that have shopping, restaurants and entertainment.
  • Regular public transportation.
  • Schools and workplaces within walking distance.
  • Sufficient population to sustain all the businesses.
  • Paved streets and walkways and affordable housing.

Deciphering the Numbers

The walk score itself is a number that’s between 0 and 100. The higher the number, the more “walkable” the area. Walk scores between 50 and 69 are walkable for some errands and walk scores between 70 and 100 are considered very walkable, where virtually all errands can be accomplished without a car.

Is It Important?

Whether or not the walk score of a specific address or neigbourhood is important depends on what you want from your purchase. If you think it is important to have most amenities within walking distance, then look for a number closer to 100. If, on the other hand you’d rather be in a rural area and don’t find walking distance very important, a lower score will be just fine.

Learn About Different Neighbourhoods

At the very least, you can find out information about specific neighbourhoods by investigating the walk scores. You’ll learn what kinds of shops and grocery stores and restaurants are in the vicinity, which is always valuable information to have.

Benefits of High Walk Scores

Even if you don’t need a high walk score to find happiness in your new condo or house, there are some definite benefits to walk scores on the high side.

Some of these benefits include:

  • More opportunity to stay active and fit.
  • Fewer vehicles and fewer emissions in the area.
  • Saving money on commuting for workplaces that are close to home.
  • Lots of green space with parks close to home.