Buy Alexandria Real Estate: Everywhere is Walking Distance if You Have the Time

Alexandria Virginia Real Estate Blog

Everywhere is Walking Distance if You Have the Time


"Everywhere is Walking Distance if You Have The Time"

-- Steven Wright, American comedian


The problem is these days people don't have the time.  Gone are the days of walking 4 miles uphill both ways to school.  Nowadays, parents pack the kids in the car and drive them the quarter mile door to door to drop them off to 2nd grade.  We're increasingly dependent upon our cars, even moreso the further out from a city we decide to live.

As people tire of the expenses and hassles of commuting and having to hop in the car for everyday errands and to just to grab a bite to eat, walkability has become a more important criteria for neighborhood home searches in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C.

Maybe you want to be close to the Metro, close to stores and restaurants, and leave the car at home after a long work week of commuting to the office. 

While determining where you want to live in the Metro D.C. area, you should visit the Walk Score Website This site was developed out of the need for homeowners to calculate the convenience of homes to stores, restaurants, work and other quality aspects of a neighborhood.

Walk Score can range from 1 to 100 depending on the proximity of the address to grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, bars, movie theaters, schools, parks, libraries, bookstores, fitness centers, drug stores, and other amenities.

The Walk Score website describes what makes a neighborhood walkable:

  • A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a discernable center, whether it's a shopping district, a main street, or a public space.
  • Density: The neighborhood is compact enough for local businesses to flourish and for public transportation to run frequently.
  • Mixed income, mixed use: Housing is provided for everyone who works in the neighborhood: young and old, singles and families, rich and poor. Businesses and residences are located near each other.
  • Parks and public space: There are plenty of public places to gather and play.
  • Pedestrian-centric design: Buildings are placed close to the street to cater to foot traffic, with parking lots relegated to the back.
  • Nearby schools and workplaces: Schools and workplaces are close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.

Washington D.C. was ranked the 7th Most Walkable City.  Click here to view the Walk Scores of various D.C. Neighborhoods.

Here's a screenshot of the WalkScore results and map for a home I sold in Old Town Alexandria last year:

Walk Score -- Old Town Alexandria

Try it for yourself while looking at different home locations:

Get your Walk Score!



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Comment balloon 23 commentsBrian Block • June 28 2009 09:26AM


This is fabulous information.  I'm getting more and more requests from folks who want METRO convenient homes. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Now is the time to promote walking ot only for energy savings but healthwise. 

Posted by Anonymous almost 9 years ago

My support on promoting walking as an energy saver but also for good health.

Posted by Troy Trumm almost 9 years ago

Brian -

THANKS for this link!  What a great benefit for homebuyers (and home sellers, if they're in a walkable area)!

Posted by Coleen DeGroff, Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL (eXp Realty) almost 9 years ago

We live out in the country but I grew up in a town where you walked to everything. Now I have to cart the kids everywhere.

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) almost 9 years ago

I love that walk score thing!  I use it all the time when working with out of town buyers.

I have a sportbrain pedometer that records every step I take.  I hook it up via usb to my computer at the end of the day and it shows me how many steps I took.  Watching the steps rack up is almost like watching AR points accrue :-)  and I find myself parking at the farthest parking spot from the store so I can get more steps in.  It's been really motivating.

Posted by Loree Nichols (Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc) almost 9 years ago

I also think part of this is that people want to get rid of a car and the insurance and gas that goes along with it.  We are a bike friendly city, and that is important to a lot of people here.  They want to be able to bike to work.

What I want to know though is how you can walk uphill, both ways, to get to school.  Do you have moving houses in VA?

Posted by Melina Tomson, Principal Broker/Owner, M.S. (Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon) almost 9 years ago

Great info - thanks, I love it!!

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA (Managing Broker - City Realty Inc) almost 9 years ago

I use WalkScore often! Great site - thanks for posting this!

Posted by Dawn Maloney, 330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio (RE/MAX Haven - Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist) almost 9 years ago

What a great website! Thank you for sharing!

I wish America would get serious about the "Green" movement and stop just paying lip service. We need to put a major focus on Mass Transportation.

If we really want to take anything from the European system, it should be quality mass transit!

~Harrison Painter

Posted by Harrison Painter, New Media Consultant (GoGladiator Media) almost 9 years ago

Brian, I remember when this website first came out and I linked to it from my real estate web site. While I found it to have many inaccuracies in it is still overall was a good site.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 9 years ago

Congratulations on your gold star, Brian.  Alexandria and Arlington are definately areas where the walk score will be terrific.  'Not quite so many walkable places in most suburban neighborhoods.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Thanks for sharing....this is great info.

My Best to you in 2009!

Joyce Logan, Realtor

Real Living HER Realtors, Ohio

Posted by Joyce Logan (RE/MAX Achievers) almost 9 years ago

Walking in LA?

Nobody walks in LA.



Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) almost 9 years ago

Brian - I saw this posted some time ago but forgot about it.  Thanks for the reminder on what a great tool this is.

Posted by Donna Bigda, Greater New Haven CT Real Estate (RE/MAX Alliance) almost 9 years ago

And here I thought walking uses energy, not saving it...!  Wow, was I wrong.

So, I could not find Bristow on the chart - how long is the walk from here to there?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Atlanta experiencing the "return to the city" wave.  Hope it cointinues as I live downtown and absolutely love to walk to my cleaners, doctors, Starbucks, grocery store, and over a dozen restaraunts within 3 blocks!  It's a way of life that is appealing to more and more!

Posted by Bud Hunsucker, Bud Hunsucker (Better Homes & Gardens MetroBrokers) almost 9 years ago

Walk Score is part of the "postlets" , a fabulous online flyer!

Posted by Susanne Novak, ABR, FIS, GRI (RE/MAX 24/7) almost 9 years ago

Thank you for reminding me I need a pedometer! I was just at Big 5 today and FORGOT. I've been forgetting to pick up the pedometer for the past 2 years . . . but remembering to walk. Me and Lunapup minimum 1 mile a day. Run/Walk. It is nonnegotiable . . . ;)

Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) almost 9 years ago

My ZIP code has a WalkScore of 0, and my house only did slightly better with 20. Time to hop in the car and go run some errands.

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) almost 9 years ago

Being a Steven Wright fan, I recognized his line in your title. 

He also said, 'I used to want everything in the world, then I thought - where would I put it?'

I use Walk Score all the time for my out of area buyers - they love it.  It also helps to find out if there is a nuclear waste area or garbage dump nearby...

They have a tile that you can load on your website - I tried it, but it wouldn't embed right and I forgot about it, right now, I just have a link.

Posted by Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR, Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS (ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale) almost 9 years ago

Thanks, I had not yet seen such a website.

The tool seems like it could be very useful, but appears to misclassify many businesses.

Definitely a good starting point for determining the walkability of an area.

Posted by Joseph "Cathan" Potter (Coldwell Banker) almost 9 years ago

Good Morning Brian,

This looks like an excellent site for buyers and their agents to use when determining which are the most suitable properties to view.

I haven't clicked on the link yet, so I'm hoping it works for Canadian neighbourhoods too...


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith almost 9 years ago