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Website Geared for Finding Transit-Oriented Real Estate in Walkable Neighborhoods
by crandell | 02/24/2009
I recently stumbled upon Estately.com through the Walk Score blog, and I was really excited by how they use both Walk Score and transit in their real estate search. Estately.com Founder and CEO Galen Ward dropped me an email explaining what the site can do to help with a carfree home search, and I have to applaud him for promoting this lifestyle through his site and making life a little easier for the pedestrians, bikers and transit-riders of Chicago with such an easy-to-use and powerful search tool. Last week I profiled Jill Press, a realtor who understands carfree living. This week I'm sharing Estately.com as another tool in the carfree real estate arsenal and further evidence of the mainstreaming of carfree living.
When I bought my home three years ago, I knew I wanted to live a short walk from a CTA stop and on a vibrant commercial street where I could walk to most of my regular needs. I had only lived in Chicago for three years, and this city of three million is big enough that there were many areas I hadn't yet explored. I wondered if I was leaving places out of my search for a neighborhood to settle down in. Looking at real estate listings without an intimate knowledge of the CTA system and city address numbering system can be frustrating if living near transit is at the top of your wish list, as it is for more home buyers than you'd think.
Estately.com makes sifting through online listings easier if walking and transit are important to you. The site lets you narrow your search by proximity to transit and Walk Score. Walk Score is a measure of how walkable a place is based on the proximity and diversity of essential neighborhood amenities. Walk Score does not factor for transit, so it's great to see Estately.com filling in for that omission.
Here's an example Estately search for real estate within a 1/4 mile of a CTA stop with a Walk Score of 80 or above. This is exactly the kind of search I would have done when I was looking for a home if this tool had existed, and in fact, this search turns up places for sale in my building.
Looking at the map of the search results, you'll notice our city has a lot of work to do to improve walkability and transit connectivity on the South Side.