Talk about an ‘easy walk’
WHAT exactly is “within easy walking distance”? Has someone checked, and what was the level of fitness and mobility of the said tester?
This rather ambiguous real estate term can offer a rather confused message implying all manner of things to a huge array of people.
I mean, what is an easy walk? To me an easy walk is 10 to 15 minutes on a dry, slightly cloudy, mild day where no hills are involved.
To my 10-year-old it is no further than the end of the drive without requesting some form of wheeled transport. It doesn’t have to have a motor, just something to speed up the whole process.
To those gym/ fitness types who drink their food green in colour and pureed, a quick and easy walk will cover several hours, can include many serious inclines, steps, and the weather conditions are totally irrelevant. In fact, a strong head wind, ice or temperatures of more than 40C just add to the fun.
I feel it is time to establish some benchmarks so that when this term is used in real estate we all understand what you, as a buyer, should be expecting.
I suggest the way to calculate this will be to consider how far an average adult takes to walk a kilometre. According to that interweb thing, there appears to be a consensus of opinion that the typical speed is 5km/h.
However, is walking for an hour that easy? It may be on a Sunday morning carrying nothing more than a bottle of water, but carrying children, shopping or adding that time to a bus or train commute to work … in these situations an hour is often too long.
So to set a benchmark, I believe it could be agreed that 10 minutes — that is about 800-850m — would be a very, very easy walk for most, even when carrying loads, tackling inclines, or just tottering home with a hot coffee and a newspaper.
The 20-minute duration is still pretty easy, covering about 1600m. But how about the 2.5km 30-minute walk; is that easy?
I would argue when trying to carry a big shop, catch a train or find the nearest bus stop this could be too far.
In conclusion, my in-depth analysis, backed up by the years I have personally been walking, shows that the zero to 20minute period can officially be noted under the heading easy.
The 20-30 minute trip is pushing that term somewhat, and over that forget it.
You may wonder why I am so intent on establishing these groundbreaking benchmarks.
I believe for many purchasers the appeal of an “easy walk’’ to amenities and public transport can really make the difference.
For sellers this can mean
those extra few dollars for your home when you sell, if your property’s suburb location places it in the “easy walk” category.
Personally I only ever live in homes, or invest for that matter, in properties with locations in that “easy walk’’ category.
The quality and range of what is close enough to be able to access on foot depends on your location type, urban, suburban or the country town, for example. I have excluded acreage living because this housing option offers space in exchange for convenience, and that is a fair trade for many families.
The interesting element to this is that your suburb will dictate the quality and type of amenities close at hand on foot. For suburban areas, just having a park, a local/corner shop or, even better, a coffee shop will really add buyer appeal.
If you add in public transport points, a wider range of shops/ eateries etc, you could find the appeal and maybe the value of a home higher compared with homes placed more on the fringes of the same suburb.
Perhaps your suburb has a railway station, a sought-after school and these amenities are all less than 1600m from your front door, which alone could really upgrade your home’s market appeal.
Urban location buyers will expect more, and the further away your property is from the amenity and transport options, the lower your sale value. Even in our country towns, it can be possible to at least have the school, a bus stop and maybe a park within an easy walk. So the next time you read this real estate term, just quantify the figures against my deeply scientific, heavily researched “easy walk’’ benchmark categories, and if it is more than 20 minutes, inform the agent of their error — you can quote my article.
If it is found to be more than 30 minutes to “anything’’ and was described as an easy walk, wait until it is the peak of summer then suggest the agent test the walk themselves, in their dark, shiny suit (with tie) about midday to be sure the term “easy walk’’ is justifiable.