Drive Less, Live More: Boston’s Walkable Lifestyle

One of the most common neighborhood characteristics requested by Boston condo buyers is walkability. More and more of us want to be within a safe and comfortable walking distance of the destinations that meet our everyday needs, such as shops, places to eat, services, parks. For many, it’s also essential to be just steps from good transportation options that can take us to work and other places we want to go. Walkability is the hottest trend in real estate, sought by buyers and renters alike.

I love walking to appointments and residential showings in the city. It’s healthy, convenient and helps me get in my 10,000 steps a day.

Boston, for its part, was recently ranked the third most walkable city in the nation.

Walkability is about convenience, quality of life and everything outside the four walls of your home. What often makes a Boston condo “right” is its location—its proximity to essential everyday amenities, such as a grocery store, shopping areas and a local bar or bistro… and a walkable commute renders any condo immediately more desirable, too. When you live near the people and places you enjoy most, you can spend less time and money on transit and more time doing what you love.

The South End is a walker’s paradise and one of my favorite neighborhoods to stroll through. The brownstones are striking, there are great shops and restaurants on the main thoroughfares and tucked into the side streets, and plenty of urban parks and green spaces, too. I’m fortunate that the demand for condos here along with all of the exciting new development in the Harrison Ave area give me plenty of opportunities to walk — for work and play — in this neighborhood.

In fact, demand for walkable neighborhoods is only going to increase as more and more members of the millennial generation (young professionals included) enter the home-buying market. One of the key characteristics they’re looking for in their preferred place of residence is the ability to live within a short commute to work and an easy walk of places in the community, according to the results of a nationwide survey released last year by the National Association of Realtors.

It’s not just millennials who are driving demand for walkable neighborhoods. In Boston, like many cities, the resurgent interest in downtown living has been attributed to empty nesters who sold their house in the suburbs and “right-sized” to a condo near the symphony, museums, upscale shopping, fabulous restaurants and the best of what the city has to offer—most of it all walkable. Most of my empty nester clients are still working, too, and are tired of long commutes and time spent in the car. Waking up, leaving the car parked and commuting to work via a stroll down Commonwealth Ave and through the Public Garden and Boston Common is certainly appealing to many.

Real estate developers in downtown Boston are building more residential projects with mixed-use components to cater to city residents looking for an urban, walkable lifestyle. Several mixed-use projects have been completed in recent years or are underway throughout the city, including the Ink Block community with a Whole Foods Market and growing selection of restaurants; Millennium Tower, offering super high-end amenities and the convenience of a Roche Bros. super market at street level; and Pierce Boston, now under construction in Fenway with more than 20,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, just to name a few.

If the idea of living in an urban, walkable environment appeals to you, let’s talk and start the process of finding a Boston condo that meets your lifestyle needs, where you can easily walk to what’s important to you.