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Study: Home buyers want walkable communities

A study shows Americans favor communities where they

A study shows Americans favor communities where they can walk for shopping and recreation, places like this street in Bellport with sidewalks. Photo Credit: Newsday, 2001 / Karen Wiles Stabile

A recent study says 88 percent of Americans value the quality of the neighborhood over the size of the home when considering a house purchase, according to the National Association of Realtors. In particular, the study says, "Americans favor walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods, with 56 percent of respondents preferring smart growth neighborhoods over neighborhoods that require more driving between home, work and recreation."

Long Island realtor Marilyn Urso, owner (with her husband) of Long Island Village Realty, Inc. in Syosset, says that's exactly the kind of attitude she's seeing in young buyers today.

"Smart growth initiatives refer to either building new communities, which we don’t have much space for on Long Island, or, in our case, the redevelopment and revitalization of existing communities. I think of Huntington in particular.

"It's been redeveloped over the past two years so that it's pedestrian friendly and ... you don’t need a car to go out to the movies or a restaurant. Younger buyers are looking for communities like that. They aren’t looking for a huge house. They want a house is the closest to the village and has the shortest walk," she says.

Want to see what's within walking distance of your home? Urso suggests visiting walkscore.com to find your home's walkability score.

Photo:  A street that accommodates pedestrians in Bellport.

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