Walkability - A Great Feature to Grow Old With


I was raised in the city, where it was pretty much possible to walk anywhere. If you preferred, however, you could just as easily hop on a bus or a subway. It was never a problem. Public transportation ran on a regular schedule and traveled to every conceivable destination.


When I grew up and moved to the suburbs with my own family, it was only natural for me to try to replicate the lifestyle to which I had grown accustomed. I knew, instinctively, that a hub would make all of us happier as it is a center of activity and there is easy access from all different directions.

These days, there are some new housing descriptions popping up in our vocabularies:  co-housing, villages, and pocket neighborhoods. Baby boomers are preparing for their senior years and are getting creative in the process. They would like to restore an old-fashioned sense of community; homes that are safe, secure and in close proximity to their neighbors.


Food for Thought - Can your current home support your future needs?


AARP says, by choice or necessity, the time will come when you will stop driving and be dependent on other methods for getting around.  Their studies show that men will outlive their driving years by 7 years and women, by 10 years.


A newly upgraded and very handy website allows you to plug in just about any town in the nation and come away with a walk score:   But what exactly does this score mean?


Quality of Life. 

While you're pondering your retirement location, don't forget to factor in this all-important ingredient in your choice of a community.  It can make all the difference between full, fun, well-adjusted senior years and isolation which often leads to depression.


 (The following highlighted bullet points were copied from the above-referenced website.)


What makes a neighborhood walkable?

  • A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a center, whether it's a main street or a public space.
  • People: Enough people for businesses to flourish and for public transit to run frequently.
  • Mixed income, mixed use: Affordable housing located near businesses.
  • Parks and public space: Plenty of public places to gather and play.
  • Pedestrian design: Buildings are close to the street, parking lots are relegated to the back.
  • Schools and workplaces: Close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.
  • Complete streets: Streets designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit.


It means still being able to participate in activities although you no longer drive.

It means proximity to restaurants, transportation and shopping.

It might further include:

  • bike lanes
  • sidewalks
  • resting spots in the middle of large and busy streets
  • access to public transportation
  • parks and green spaces for relaxation and cultural activities
  • trees for shade and beauty
  • recreational centers
  • community services i.e., a farmer's market

Walking has terrific health benefits. It is good for the environment and it makes financial sense as real estate with a high walkability score commands a premium on the market. 









Shopping Trolley  Fernando de Sousa




No matter how you spend your day, come home to this



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Jill Sackler, NYS Real Estate Broker Associate based on Long Island's South Shore

Sunny Isles, Fl 



     Specializing in Lifecycle Real Estate Transitions

"When your family doesn't fit your family home, I can help."




©Jill Sackler 2010


Comment balloon 8 commentsJill Sackler • March 29 2011 10:22PM


Hi jill.  I love the dancing in the food court.  What a hoot.  I love that mls has the walk scores now as well.  Great piece!

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) over 9 years ago

Jill - It's interesting that you are talking about the concept of walkability for seniors and their current home.  I work with so many young first timers (20-somethings) and they are often interested in the walkability features of their first home.  Funny how that works out.

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) over 9 years ago

Hi Jill, Walkability scores are important and being able to walk up and get fresh fruit from the local market, catch a movie or cup of coffee just by walking a few blocks is high in demand. Having close proximity to mass transit is also a good thing to be able to get around without needing a car. Here in Portland it seems that every age seems to be looking for this. Now..if we can get the builders to start building one levels again! These will be in much demand as well. Great Post! hitting the S button

Posted by Cindy Westfall, ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate (Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon) over 9 years ago

Belinda - That picture appealed to me, as well. I had taken my own pictures first and then found these that were clearly better at depicting senior fun.

Donne - An old concept reborn. Looks like they may have to replan some of our suburban areas.

Cindy - I can't do any research on seniors without getting Portland as a result. It truly is the #1 city. It already has all the essential features.

Thanks for the suggest. That would be a first.


Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) over 9 years ago

Jill, this is a great blog...I'll suggest! Having aging parents I am really aware of the needs of walkability. Being able to do for oneself is a key element in aging.

Posted by Ellen Caruso (Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty) over 9 years ago

Thanks, Ellen - That 's when it becomes really apparent. While young people may also be asking for this feature, older people actually need this feature.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) over 9 years ago

Jill, there is a Seniors Group somewhere on this Rain.  You might want to add this post to that group, too. 

I am going to reblog this next week when more people will see it.  Great information!

Posted by Ron Marshall, Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire (Marshall Enterprises) about 9 years ago

Thanks so much, Ron. I'll look for the group.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) about 9 years ago

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