Do You Plan On Biking To Work Every Day? Consider These 3 Things When You're Looking At Potential Neighborhoods To Live In

Real Estate Blog

Biking to work is a great way to sneak in some daily exercise. After all, you have to go to work anyway. You might as well burn some calories and do some cardio while you're on the way there.

Unfortunately, biking to work can also be incredibly inconvenient depending on where you live. Safety is the most important factor—biking on the side of a freeway can be hazardous, and it's definitely a stressful experience. Distance is another factor, since you don't want your commute to feel like you're training for a triathlon.

Because of the role that location plays in how easy it will be to bike to work, it's something you should keep in mind when you're searching for a new home. If you ever plan on biking to work, here are three things you need to consider about potential neighborhoods.

1. Distance to Work

When you're planning on commuting to work on your bicycle, the most important factor in choosing a neighborhood is simply its distance to the place you work. If work is farther than ten miles away, it can pose a problem with commuting.

You may not have any difficulty biking ten miles in a single trip, but when you're commuting you'll be doing it every single weekday. You have to factor in the return trip as well—if work is 15 miles away, that's 30 miles of biking you're required to do each day. Overall, you'll want to live as close to work as possible in order to cut down on the amount of biking that's necessary for your commute.

What if you're moving to a new area and don't have a job lined up that you can use as a measuring stick? In this case, just try to move close to the city center where the jobs are—you'll have better luck finding one that's nearby.

2. Nearby Roads

If a neighborhood's only connection to the rest of the city is a high-speed freeway, biking to work suddenly becomes much more dangerous. Even if the freeway has bike lanes, it's much easier and less stressful to bike to work on residential streets where traffic isn't moving as quickly.

Newer subdivisions are more likely to be isolated from the rest of the city, requiring you to bike down the freeway in order to get to work. Older neighborhoods that are contiguous with the city are the kind that you should look for. You may not be able to move into new construction, but older homes in established neighborhoods have their advantages as well—they tend to retain their value better because they're in an overall more convenient location.

Another thing to note is that you'll want to avoid brick-lined streets. It's not an enjoyable ride for a bicyclist, and brick streets are very tough on a commuter bicycle's suspension. Brick-lined streets may be charming, but they'll wear you and your bike out quicker.

3. Proximity to Shopping Centers

Even if bicycling to work is your primary concern, it's a good idea to find a neighborhood with easily accessible shopping. Being able to stop by the store and pick up a few items on your way home from work is a major convenience. Scoping out neighborhoods on your own is the best way to judge how easy shopping will be. If you don't have time to check out every potential neighborhood yourself, however, then you can use a neighborhood's walkability score as a good guide to its nearby shopping opportunities—there are several tools online that will give you this score for a given address.

Ultimately, you'll have the best luck buying a single-family home in an older neighborhood. These neighborhoods are typically in a more central location compared to new developments, which makes bicycling to work, shopping or entertainment much easier. The homes may be older, but they're much more likely to be more appropriate for bicycling.  


14 October 2019

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