Most of us have heard the term, “walk score”. And most of us figure we know what it means - sorta, kinda. And most of us interested in real estate figure it’s probably important too, but that’s it. So let’s figure it out, once and for all.
In very simple terms, a Walk Score® is a system developed to measure the “walkability” of various neighbourhoods. Starting from a specific address, the system analyzes the number of services and amenities that can be reached on foot from that location. In other words, how easily can you walk around a given neighbourhood to get your day-to-day living done?
Here’s an example: 6285 Chebucto Road, Halifax has a Walk Score® of 85, defined as “Very Walkable: Most errands can be accomplished on foot.” And a clickable map allows you to explore exactly which amenities are located nearby.
Hmmm…restaurants, schools, grocery stores, a post office, a park…this is looking good!
Let’s try a condo building this time: 6095 Coburg Road #303 is a “Walker’s Paradise”, scoring an impressive 90. Again, the map is available to explore all the details. Very handy.
But wait! There’s more!
Clearly these numbers can make a difference for the home seeker with a specific lifestyle in mind.
The bonus: A unit at this address is available through Lease Better as a Vacation Rental - a great starting point for exploring Halifax.
You can learn more about Walk Scores® here. It’s a handy web application for exploring a neighbourhood from remote - or for learning more about your new neighbourhood once you’ve moved in. Obviously it’s a limited resource when compared to viewing and exploring in person, but Walk Scores® is definitely a valuable launching point when gathering information about a community.
One last thing: let’s not shortchange communities located outside the larger urban hubs. The fact that small towns and rural areas don’t score high Walk Scores® shouldn’t mean that they aren’t walkable or liveable. Since smaller communities have fewer amenities than their larger counterparts, the scores are proportionately lower - places like Dartmouth, Mahone Bay or Lunenburg, where everything you need is just within your reach. When you visit these communities, you’ll see people walking, strolling, jogging, sailing - basically, living - and yes, enjoying restaurants and buying groceries just fine. Such is the diversity and connectedness of this place we call Nova Scotia.