I bought my first house during an incredibly hot real estate market. If we wanted something, we had to decide now because if we waited it would get snapped up quickly by someone else. I remember house hunting and walking inside my new home for the first time, keys in hand, and marveling at the fact that I had just spent literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on something I had seen exactly twice.
It wasn’t until we moved in that my daughter and I began exploring our neighborhood on foot. In our daily meanderings we discovering a Mediterranean deli, a playground and splash park, and a library – all within walking distance! They were hidden off the main roads – I’d never seen them on my once daily drive by’s in the weeks before closing. It was such a different way to view a neighborhood, even if it did take sometimes hours to walk a few blocks (toddlers aren’t generally known for their speed!)
Pedal powered house hunting
A Colorado-based real estate company has recognized what I did in the first few weeks after my home-buying haze had lifted – seeing a neighborhood by car is nothing compared to house hunting by people power. Pedal to Properties allows home buyers to ride custom cruiser bikes to viewings – a unique approach that is not only Eco-friendly, but wise, too. This concept began three years ago when Pedal to Properties opened with a handful of clients and just 10 bikes. They now boast 50 cruisers and have become one of the fastest growing firms in the area.
Riding around on bikes looking at houses is basically my ideal evening, but it’s practicality lies in the fact that more and more buyers are prioritizing considerations like a neighborhood’s walk-ability, proximity to work and schools, and community feel when buying a home. Distances can be deceiving when driven by car – a five minute drive can easily be a half-hour walk if the area isn’t set up to be pedestrian-friendly – and as people choose Eco-friendly transportation options more often, it becomes more important to have amenities a short walk (or bike ride) away.
Then there’s the general feel of the place. Some neighborhoods, when viewed by car, seem perfect. Pristine, clean, and utterly charming. But if you spend a few minutes wandering around you’d realize that you are the only one wandering around. Cars drive in and out, swallowed up by mammoth garages, and no one ever see each other. Bike around for a while and you’ll get a real feel for the community – whether neighbors wave to each other, the speed of traffic, how many kids are playing on the front lawn.
All this while enjoying the fresh air and even working up a bit of a sweat – why didn’t we think of this sooner?
Images courtesy of Pedal to Properties