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.
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.
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.
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.
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 websiteaggregates 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.