Looking for a new home? Concerned about maintaining a healthy lifestyle for you and your loved ones? Here are a few factors that will help you choose the right neighborhood for your search.
Parks and Recreation
It's no secret that being healthy is about staying active. That's a lot easier when you can take advantage of local parks for outdoor activities and organized recreation opportunities like sports leagues and fitness classes. Living near open space and forested areas will also help you protect your family from air pollution as a result of traffic congestion.
Local Ordinances and Neighborhood Associations
Some towns and cities do more than others to protect the local environment and promote the health of their citizens, with ordinances about noise pollution and zoning.While some neighborhood associations exist largely to enforce arbitrary standards about the superficial appearance of homes, others have more substantive standards about sustainable landscaping and other environmental factors.
Walkability and Bikeability
Whether you're eight or eighty years old, walking and biking are great ways to stay healthy. Residents of walkable neighborhoods tend to weigh up to 10 pounds less than those in less walkable neighborhoods. Walk Score offers a neighborhood's walkability and bikeability score using the proximity of shops and services as well as features like sidewalks, bike lanes, and crosswalks.
Water Quality and Other Concerns
Unless you're willing to spend hundreds of dollars every year on filtration systems, you'll want to make sure the neighborhood you choose in has a high quality public water supply and is free of other chemical and industrial contaminants. The Environmental Protection Agency's website aggregates data on water quality, air quality, known and threatened releases of hazardous substances, and former industrial sites (or "brownfields"), allowing you to search by zip code.