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Bike n’ Buy

Buying
5 Surprising Reasons to Take a Bike with You on Your House Hunt

What do we know about bicycles? Okay, we admit it – not much. We know that a bunch of people race each other through the Alps on them every year, in France. We know that Daisy married that one guy on a bicycle built for two. But we may or may not have been on a bicycle ourselves since we were nine years old, and as far as we could see there was no reason to break that bike-free streak now.

At least, we didn’t see any reason to break it until we heard about a neat new trend that’s cropping up around the country: house hunting by bike. Even then, it took some convincing to make us see the light on this one. But we have to admit, we came around in the end. Read on to see what made us back-peddle on our aversion to two-wheelers (and rest assured that helmet-hair is optional!).

 Slow motion

Speeding up to a house, checking out the interior, and then piling back into your car to speed off to the next one is a common ritual of house hunters everywhere. But unless you have your eye on that lone-wolf island lighthouse off the coast of Alaska, your house is going to be part of a neighborhood. And, once you buy it, so are you. Riding in by bike forces you to slow down and take in your surroundings. See for yourself that the place is safe and practical. Feel the vibes. Biking up the block is a great way to get a sense of what it would be like to live there.

A meeting of minds

Everyone knows that if you want to find out what it’s really like to live somewhere, you should talk to the people who are already living there. And while we suppose you could drive slowly down the street in your SUV, peering out of your rolled-down window like a stalker, we suspect that the future neighbors will be more likely to respond to your friendly wave if you send it from the seat of a bicycle, instead.

 Commute calculator

Maybe you’re entertaining fond hopes of being able to bike to work, or to the grocery store, or to the park. Why not take the guesswork out of it? Hop on your bicycle and peddle to those destinations before you sign the purchase papers.

 Bonding time

Is a real estate agent helping you with your house hunt? There’s room for one more on the bicycle train! House hunters have reported that biking through neighborhoods with their agents creates an instant bonding experience. That guy in the suit might seem stodgy at first glance, but no one stays stuffy for long once they’ve been plunked on a bicycle. Bicycles are the anti-stodge. Seriously.

 Lighten up

Let’s face it – house hunting is serious and stressful. Bike riding is neither serious nor stressful (excluding a serious case of helmet-hair, of course). In fact, it’s kinda fun. Don’t give us that look. We know you haven’t been on a bike since you were nine, either. It’s never too late for second chances. So break out that Iva Jean Hell-Yeah T-Shirt, hop on, lighten up, and cruise on home.

 

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Kristine Serio
Kristine Serio is an editor and writer with Author Bridge Media. Her real estate roots stretch back to her grandfather, who launched a profitable second career as an investor during the 1950s. She is now passionate about empowering women through real estate writing. Her authors and entrepreneurs have been featured in The New York Times, O: the Oprah Magazine, and the San Diego Union Tribune.
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