Living in communities close to workplaces, shopping, dining and other amenities is becoming increasingly important to buyers when searching for a home. A recent survey conducted on behalf of the National Association of REALTORS® found over half of the respondents preferred to live in a community that offered smaller or no yards but was within walking distance of local amenities and offered shorter work commutes.
Buyers no longer look at just the house – equally, or even more important, is the community and access to workplaces, shopping, dining, transportation, schools, health care and parks or open space. Women tend to put more importance on walk-ability and public transit than men but overall nearly 40% said having public transit nearby was important. Sixty percent of those surveyed would be willing to pay more to live within walking distance of parks, restaurants and shops.
In Bellevue the popularity of urban living was recently confirmed when the One88 condominium residences celebrated the grand opening and sales event. Over 80% of the homes sold in just weeks with buyers committing to reservations to purchase homes that won’t be available for two years. Several new Bellevue townhome communities have experienced the same robust sales activity with buyers committing to pre-sales for homes not scheduled for completion until late spring or summer. Resale condos and townhomes throughuot the eastside, walk-able to urban amenities and workplaces, are experiencing the same high level of buyer interest.
The demand for and shortage of available housing is evident throughout the metro area, but neighborhoods with a walk-able, car optional lifestyle, are most popular. Communities located near future East Link light rail stations are already attracting strong interest with buyers looking to the future and the added convenience and value of having easy access to planned light rail stations.
If you’re considering the benefits of a more walk-able community, now could be the time to make a move. Downtown Bellevue and Kirkland (as well as Bothell, Redmond and Issaquah) continue to grow, adding sought-after amenities, services and housing. It may be several years away, but light rail is going to have a dynamic impact on the popularity of living downtown near rail and transit centers. Urban homes will be in high demand. Stay ahead of the curve; now is the time to buy for the future.