Americans are increasingly showing their desires for walkable neighborhoods that combine a mix of homes and stores. In fact, a new survey shows that the least popular neighborhood is a suburban one with just houses in it.
Sixty percent of Americans surveyed say they favor neighborhoods with a mix of houses and stores and other businesses that are easy to walk to over neighborhoods that require greater driving among home, work, and recreation, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2013 Community Preference Survey of 1,500 Americans.
“Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach, smart growth is typically characterized by mixed-use development, higher densities, and pedestrian-friendly streets that accommodate a wide diversity of transportation modes,” says NAR President Gary Thomas. “Growth patterns, economic development, and quality-of-life issues are inextricably linked to the success of communities and residents.”
Americans say they’re willing to sacrifice the size of the home and lot in order to live in a neighborhood with walkable features and a shorter commute. For example, 78 percent of respondents said that the neighborhood is more important to them than the size of the home. Fifty-seven percent said they’d give up a home with a larger yard if they could have a shorter commute. Fifty-five percent said they’d give up a home with a larger yard if it meant they could live within walking distance to schools, stores, and restaurants.
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