Trulia gave investors a leg up on where to look for properties with its latest Live Well maps, which highlight America’s best neighborhoods for those looking to stay active and healthy. The index measures such aspects as the percentage of quiet streets and recreational amenities.
According to the maps, the best neighborhood for living well in small metros, where the population is less than 1 million people, is Locust Grove, just north of downtown Charlottesville, Va., Here, properties sell on average for $160 per square foot and the neighborhood has a Live Well score of 87. Noelridge Park in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, (86) is the cheapest investment on the list, with properties averaging $83 per square foot. Riviera-Westchester in Bakersfield, Calif., (86) sells for an average $139 per square foot; Burns Park in Ann Arbor (83) for $267 per square foot; and Campus farm in Tucson (82) for $103 per square foot.
The best neighborhood for living well in mid-size cities (1 million to 2 million people) was Outer Sunset in San Francisco, which had the highest overall Live Well score of 93.6. However, it also was priciest neighborhood in midsized cities, with an average price of $623 per square foot. West Riverside in new Orleans, which came in second at 88.7, is a better deal, with its $266 per square foot average. Crestview in Austin (86) sells for an average of $262 per square foot; Driftwood in Ft. Lauderdale (83) for $129 per square foot; and Riverwest in Milwaukee (82.5) for $86 per square foot.
In large metros, the best neighborhoods Trulia found were in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Ocean Beach in San Diego scored a Live Well rating of 93, but also had a per-square-foot average of $671. L.A.’s Plaza (90), sells on average for $422 per square foot, while the city’s Sunpark (89) and Beverly Center (88) neighborhoods sell for $752 and $636 per square foot, respectively. Sunset hill in Seattle closed out the top five large metro neighborhoods, scoring 87.5 on the Live Well scale and sells for an average of $334 per square foot.
All neighborhoods on Trulia’s list are between one and two square miles in area‒‒”neighborhoods large enough to have a decent number of live-well features, but small enough to actually feel like a neighborhood,” according to the report.