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If you're in the market for a new home, you'll also be looking at the neighborhood. In fact, the character and amenities of the neighborhood may be as important to the property value as the house itself. Whether you're looking for a neighborhood with large houses and expansive lawns, or a modern condo in a thriving downtown area, there are characteristics that make up a great living area. Wondering what to look for? We suggest the following: 1. People are out on the streets: A good sign of a neighborhood’s vitality and safety is seeing people on the sidewalks, children riding bikes and youngsters walking to school. Being able to leave home without your car keys and walking or bike riding to the market, coffee shop or restaurant is a wellness booster and contributes to a sense of community. If walking is important to you, look up an address or zip code on the Walk Score website to get a “walkability” rating.