Real Estate Agent with Fine Homes Orlando

Article: WSJ.com: A Walker's Guide to Home Buying

For a few years in the early 2000's, I lived in South Tampa and worked in central New Jersey (Somerset County). Monday mornings I woke up bright (well...) and early, hopped on a plane, and was to my cube in Raritan by lunchtime. On Fridays I'd head to Newark around lunchtime, catch the 2:50 to Tampa, and be back home in time for happy hour. Rinse, repeat. During the week I was staying in a rented room in Stewartsville, about 35 miles from work, which took anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour each way. Point is, there was a lot of time spent in cars and planes. Enough time to know that I didn't want to do it any more.

When presented with the opportunity to move to either Tampa or Orlando, there wasn't much debate. We chose Celebration. Within a 25 minute walk, or 10 minute bike ride, I can visit my choice of banks, grab a Starbucks coffee, drop the son off at the K-8 school, work on an MBA, drop off drycleaning, check my PO box, get a haircut, have pad thai or sushi, see a movie, or visit a friend at our hospital. And most Celebration residents live closer to the downtown than we do.

I've lived in Florida for 30+ years, cumulatively. This degree of walkability is not easy to come by. Yes, it's factored into the real estate prices here in Celebration, but to some degree that investment has been recouped in the form of fewer fillups (and lower dependence on oil), lower auto insurance premiums, reduced chances of getting in an accident, and improved health through increased exercise.

And if it means I spend more time enjoying the outdoors with my family, then it's priceless. Hopefully others will discover this, too.

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Brian Hart shares his experiences living in Celebration, FL at CelebrationBlog.com. He also owns and operates GarageApartments.com, a site devoted to all things Garage Apartment.

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