For years, the middle class seemed to favor living in sprawling suburbs, driving or riding public transit to work in the city, and driving a few miles or so to reach restaurants, grocery stores, and the like. Suburban living is changing, however. The sprawling suburbs of yesteryear are slowly being replaced by walkable urban places, or walkUPs as they are sometimes called. Within these walkable communities, residents have everything they need, from their own luxury apartment to grocery stores, restaurants, gyms, and pharmacies.
WalkUPs are popping up around many big cities, including Atlanta, Chicago and Pittsburgh. What are the benefits of living in a walkUP? Here's a look at a few of them.
You save money on transportation.
Think of how much money you spend maintaining your car and paying for gas to drive not only to work each day, but also to various destinations like stores and restaurants. If you move to a walkUP community, you'll likely be able to get rid of your car. This is because most are located on popular public transportation routes, so you can utilize public transportation to get to work. Everywhere else you need to get, you can walk -- it's right in the community. On the odd occasion that you do need to drive to see family and friends who live outside of the area, you can rent a car. You'll pay a lot less to rent a car for a weekend a few times per year than to maintain one all year long.
You'll spend less time on home maintenance.
Most walkUP communities are rental situations. They may offer an array of apartment options within the same community, from less expensive studio or one-bedroom apartments, to luxury apartments with private yards and balconies. Either way, you won't have to dedicate yourself to hours or yard work and home improvement like you would if you owned a home in the suburbs, but you get the same high standard of living.
You become more engaged in your community.
Instead of driving 10 minutes away to the grocery store or gym, you'll walk there, passing neighbors on the way. Everyone in the neighborhood will use the same local businesses within the walkUP, so you'll run into the same people over and over again and get to know them. You'll feel more of a tie to the businesses in the community since they are all so accessible and a part of your daily life. This sense of pride and ownership amongst all members of the walkUP community leads to a lot of mutual respect and a friendly atmosphere.
If you're tired of feeling like you're being stretched in every direction and driving back and forth across town every day just to satisfy your basic needs, perhaps it's time for a change in lifestyle. Living in a walkUP community, where everything you need is within walking distance, will simplify your life, leave you with more money in the bank, and help you feel more connected to the space you live in.