Location, location, location — how important is it, really? 

When aspiring renters first begin to look for new apartments, they tend to focus on the internal qualities. They compare bedroom numbers, pet friendliness, and utility costs and prioritize based on each property’s ability to meet their needs. However, the appeal of an apartment can only go so far if its location is subpar. 

Picture this scenario: 

You find a picture-perfect listing online. It’s affordable, spacious, and has every amenity that you ever hoped to have. You’re ready to sign a lease even before you see the place. When you visit, though, you notice one significant problem — access to public transportation is so limited that the property may as well be on an urban island. The apartment you like so much would make you driving-dependent — and you don’t have a car. As you leave, you wish that you had checked accessibility before you had developed such high hopes for the place.

When it comes to apartment hunting, assessing location is critical. Walkability and access to public transport will heavily influence your ability to live, work, and play in the city. In the past, you may have needed to visit a neighborhood to determine suitability — but now, details are only a few clicks away! Online tools like WalkScore can help you make an informed decision in the span of a few clicks. Below, we break down the details of the scoring process, using our property at 1751 Market Street as a case study for accessibility. 

Walk Score: 98 (Walker’s Paradise)

Walk Score grades are based on a 100-point system. Those with high scores, like 1751 Market Street, offer easy access to amenities such as grocery stores, restaurants, shopping opportunities, parks, schools, and entertainment venues. Amenities located within a five-minute walk of a given location receive maximum points, while those that require thirty-plus minutes of travel time receive none. The grading system also considers pedestrian friendliness by taking factors like population density, block length, and typical intersection traffic into account. It accomplishes all of this by compiling data from several reliable sources, including but not limited to Google, Open Street Map, Localeze, and the U.S. Census. 

The scores are ranked according to the following hierarchy:

90-100: Walker’s Paradise

Residents do not need a car to accomplish daily errands

70-89: Very Walkable

Residents can accomplish most errands on foot

50-69: Somewhat Walkable

Some errands can be accomplished on foot

25-49: Car-dependent

Residents need a car to complete most errands

0-24: Car-dependent

Residents need a car to complete almost all errands. 

With a Walk Score of 98, 1751 Market Street offers its residents the highest degree of convenience and access. Renters can rest assured that their routine transport will be slim to none — and that they can accomplish most day-to-day chores without needing to invest in the expense of a car. 

Transit Score: 100 (Rider’s Paradise) 

Residents at 1751 Market Street enjoy, as some analysts at Ride Score put it, access to “world-class public transportation”. They can skip over San Francisco’s rush hour traffic with ease, making their commute to work a breeze. The ability to ride saves these renters time and money — no matter where they need to go within city limits, they can be sure that public transit will get them there swiftly and at a low cost! 

Residents of the property are within easy walking distance of 19 bus lines and the cable car F line. However, they do not need to rely solely on group transport; if renters need to drive a car, they can rent a car from one of the 23 nearby car share stations. These rental services are available via Getaround, Zipcar, and City CarShare. 

Bike Score: 91 (Biker’s Paradise)

Similarly to the above-described Walk Score, Bike Score assesses an area’s hospitability to bikers by compiling data from several reliable sources. Its grades are based on road connectivity, bike lane availability, traffic hazards, distance to amenities, and how easily daily errands can be completed via bicycle. As you can see, 1751 Market Street offers the highest tier of support for bike travel, making it a cyclist’s paradise. If you’re new to the neighborhood and want to get in on the biking craze, check out Mosser’s blog on biking in San Francisco!

Location matters — so check out the neighborhood before you sign the lease on that seemingly perfect apartment!