California boasts some of the nation’s top cities for healthy living, according to Trulia.

It’s no surprise, given that California cities have the highest life expectancies in the nation, even for low-income individuals. But which neighborhoods have the most potential?

Trulia’s Live Well Index ranks healthy living by each neighborhood’s:

  • share of quiet or low-traffic streets;
  • number of places to “play,” such as parks, trails and indoor recreation facilities; and
  • number of health and care centers, including hospitals, pharmacies and day care centers.

In California, the best neighborhood for living well in a small neighborhood is the Riviera-Westchester neighborhood in Bakersfield.

For mid-sized cities, San Francisco’s Outer Sunset neighborhood tops the list for living well.

Of the nation’s largest cities, the top four neighborhoods are found in Southern California:

  • Ocean Beach, San Diego, notable for its 15 miles of trails;
  • Plaza, Los Angeles;
  • Sun Park, Los Angeles; and
  • Beverly Center, Los Angeles.

Of course, some notable neighborhoods are missing from this list, and if you asked residents of these cities they may not name any one of these as the best place for quality of life since it’s a subjective question. In fact, the index may mean little to someone wishing to live well who could care less about quiet streets, but thinks vegan restaurants are the key to healthy living.

Agent homework

So, take the index with a grain of salt.

Better than quoting an index: figure out what makes the neighborhoods you serve as a real estate agent special, and promote that. Homebuyers long to know the personality of the neighborhood where they’re considering buying, and telling them what makes it special can give them a good indication of whether it will be a good fit for their lifestyle. It also give you a chance to showcase your expertise.

For example: does your neighborhood have one of the best schools for science and technology? Let homebuyers know. Or, does the neighborhood association host any events? Are there any annual races that occur in the local park? How about weekly farmer’s markets?

Make it your homework this week to identify special characteristics about each of the neighborhoods where you’re active. To get started, ask sellers you represent what makes their neighborhood stand out, and ask them what they will miss about the neighborhood. Use this information in your marketing and in your presentation to homebuyers when showing homes in those neighborhoods.