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Green commuting, is it a trend?

Posted by Rona Fischman September 29, 2011 01:44 PM

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Tomorrow is a last Friday of the month. That means it is Walk-Ride day. Initiatives like this are part of a growing consciousness about the use of automobiles. Are you more aware -- and care more -- about the amount of time you spend in your car and how much gas you burn?

In the past five years or so, I have had an increasing number of clients who bicycle commute to work. One of the features that is becoming do-or-die for my clients is an easy way to store bicycles on a daily basis. More and more of my client base are commuting by bicycle at least part of the year. When I started in real estate, it was rare for a condo association to have dedicated bicycle storage areas, Now, I consider it commonplace. Is bicycle storage a do-or-die for you? My clients want to get into the basement via a full-sized door, with a few or no stairs and no sharp turns. Garages are even better. Is that your criteria, too?

I also find questions about bicycle routes popping up about a third of the time, among my clients. An increasing percentage do not own a car. They get around via public transportation as well as bicycling and walking. Since the very beginning, I’ve always worked with an MBTA bus-route map handy. Now I keep bike maps, too.

In cities, it seems to me that property closer to subway and commuter rail has been more recession-resistant than housing that requires a bus or car ride to work. There also seems to be zones; values go up the closer a place is from the train or subway stop. A five-minute walk commands a higher price than a fifteen-minute walk; a twenty-minute walk or bus ride, commands an even lower price – all other things being equal.
When a house or condo has an excellent walk score, I am more frequently finding that information on the listing description.

It gets harder to be “car-free” in the suburbs, because neighborhoods near train stations are hard to compare to other areas of town. There are also trainless suburban towns, like Lexington. I have car-free clients in Lexington; they bicycle commute or use buses.

Do you think that public transportation and access to bike routes has an influence on pricing? Do you think the influence of bicycle transportation will grow in the future or is it a passing trend?

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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