As consumers consider buying a new home, choosing a community is without question one of their most important priorties. Research by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has consistently provided results that show choosing a community is one of the most important factors. These studies indicate that American consumers prefer walkable, mixed-use communities and shorter commutes to work and home. NAR’s 2013 Community Preference Survey showed that 60% of respondents prefer a neighborhood that features a mix of houses and stores as well as other businesses that are easy to walk to instead of neighborhoods that require more driving time between home, work and recreation. An interesting aspect of the findings was that consumers were willing to compromise on the size of the property for a preferred neighborhood and less commuting.This was indicated by the fact that 52% of those surveyed would prefer a single-family detached house with large yard, but 78% responded that the neighborhhood was more important than the size of the home. Other results indicated that 57% of those respondents would forego a home with larger yard in favor of a shorter commute to work. Also, 55% of those that responded were willing to forego a home with larger yard if it meant they could live within walking distance of schools, stores as restaurants.
When the respondents were aked to identify their ideal community, the most popular response was a suburban neighborhood that offers a mix of houses, shops and businesses. The least popular response was a suburban neighborhood that just offered houses.
Regarding their transportation concerns, 41% said improving public transportation would be the best solution, followed by 29% that would prefer the development of communities where people don’t have to drive long distances to work or shop, and 20% that would choose construction of new roads. Source: NAR
Steve Lester is a REALTOR living in Allen, Texas.