When buying a new home for your family, one of the most important things to look for is how suitable the neighborhood is to raise a family. It’s not just about the curb appeal of the house or the number of bedrooms and baths. The location will pretty much define your family’s experience and influence your children’s formative years.
A family-friendly neighborhood with everything you need is hard to find these days as good communities move further away from the cities. Chances are, you might need to make a few sacrifices, such as a longer commute to work or a more expensive house. However, these compromises will pay off if you and your family love where you live.
Before you apply for home loans and decide on a house, make sure to look for these qualities from your future neighborhood:
The first few signs of a friendly environment will show themselves even to strangers. During open houses or tours, try to observe the neighbors. Do they smile at you or other passersby they may know? Do you feel comfortable and welcome? If you have sharp instincts, you can easily identify red flags. But to be sure, you can even knock on a few doors and ask about what they think about the area. If they find the time to accommodate you, then these are people you can count on when you move next door. They say that good fences make good neighbors, and in some cases, this could be true. Houses with tall fences could mean that the occupants want their privacy, so making small talk while you trim your hedges won’t be possible.
Good nearby schools
Whether you’re working full-time or staying at home, sending your kids to the right neighborhood school will save you plenty of time and headaches. This way, you can easily squeeze in work and errands between driving your kids to school or picking them up. Plus, if there are parent-teacher conferences and school events, you won’t need to go far. It would be more convenient and safe for your children, as well.
Access to necessities
A household with children can be hectic, which is why it’s easy to have easy access to necessities such as health care, shopping, daycare, and so on. It would be best if these necessities are along your way to work or your kid’s schools so you won’t need to spend time and gas driving around.
A safe environment
Even if you don’t have kids, it’s always good to buy a house in a safe neighborhood. But how do you know for sure if you can crack a window open at night without getting robbed, or you can let your children walk to school by themselves? A quick Google search can show you the crime rate in your area.
You can check with the neighborhood watch group or sex offender registry websites to know if there are offenders in the area. You should also observe the traffic in the area. Is it too close to the main road or railroad tracks? Are the street lights well-lit? Are local businesses thriving? You can also visit the nearby schools and scout the area for warning signs.
There is a handful of communities that really focus on making the place more kid-friendly. If advertisements and public opportunities are aimed at children, then you can be sure that there will be plenty of amenities for your kids. These could range from community pools and parks to bike lanes and daycare centers.
Plenty of outdoor space
It’s also important to have room to breathe in the place you’ll choose to settle down. Does your future home have a sizable backyard space? If the houses are too crowded and your location is on a busy street, you might not feel comfortable letting your kids step out the door without your supervision. And that may not be sustainable in the long run. If you plan to have pets, it would be good to have some outdoor space for them to run around and play. Additionally, having a spacious backyard could also mean you can host big barbecues with your loved ones or neighbors.
Kids play outside
Another big sign of a friendly and safe neighborhood is if kids are playing outside and having fun. This means that parents in the area put great trust in the community to keep their kids safe. This could also entail that parents encourage their kids to mingle with the kids next door, so when you need someone to look after your kids in the future, you’ll have a Plan B if the sitter doesn’t show up.
Settling down in a new neighborhood can be challenging and life-changing for the whole family. This is why you must pick the right place.