Choosing a community is one of the most important factors for consumers as they consider buying a home.
Research by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has consistently revealed that Americans prefer mixed-use neighborhoods and shorter commutes.
According to its 2013 Community Preference Survey, 60% of respondents favor a neighborhood with a mix of houses and stores and other businesses that are easy to walk to, rather than neighborhoods that require more driving between home, work and recreation. The survey findings indicate that while the size of the property does matter to consumers, they are willing to compromise size for a preferred neighborhood and less commuting. For example, although 52% of those surveyed prefer a single-family detached house with a large yard, 78% responded that the neighborhood is more important to them than the size of the house. Fifty Five percent of respondents were willing to forego a home with larger yard if it meant they could live within walking distance of schools, stores and restaurants.
When asked to identify their ideal community, the most popular choice was a suburban neighborhood with a mix of houses, shops and businesses. The least popular was a suburban neighborhood with just houses. As for transportation concerns, 41% said improving public transportation would be the best solution, while 29% would prefer the development of communities where people do not have to drive long distances to work or shop.