How walkable is your neighborhood?
With the price of gas in Hawaii at record highs, it's probably a good idea to find a home that is convenient to everything you need by walking.
Even if you're not looking to move, WalkScore.com is a fun, online calculator (also available as an iPhone app) that tells you how your neighborhood stacks up in terms of walkability. When you plug in your address, it will give you your neighborhood's score plus a list and map of restaurants, stores, services, parks and other amenities nearby.
According to the site, the average resident of a walkable neighborhood weighs seven pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood. In addition, walking does not contribute to pollution of the environment, while cars do.
The site also gives a separate score for public transit.
The ideal walkable neighborhood has a score as close to 100 as possible. Interestingly enough, three neighborhoods in the U.S. have a score of 100-all in New York: Tribeca, Little Italy and SoHo. (New York takes 38 of the top "walker's paradises" on the site.) By contrast, no neighborhoods in Hawaii have a score of 90 or higher.
To see how various homes scored, I plugged in addresses of random homes this blog has covered. Here's how they fared:
4292 Kahala Ave.: 17 (Public transit score: 35)
2649 Huapala St.: 71 (Public transit score: 34)
Trump Waikiki, 223 Saratoga Rd.: 72 (Public transit score: 64)
45-585 Awanene Way: 63 (Public transit score not available)
Whether you're buying or selling a home, keep in mind that a study based on data from Walk Score and ZipRealty showed that one point of Walk Score is worth as much as $3,000 depending on the metro area.
Cool, huh? Now, let's get walking!