Living in a Family-Oriented Neighborhood: Eight Things to Look For
“Home should be an anchor, a port in a storm, a refuge, a happy place in which to dwell, a place where we are loved and where we can love” -Marvin J. Ashton.
In this time and age, finding a home is not exactly a walk in the park.
There are certain things you need to take into consideration, and oftentimes, these specific considerations can add another layer of complexity to the already challenging endeavor itself.
Moving in with children adds another critical criterion that should be paramount in your search for a home: a family-friendly or family-oriented neighborhood. After all, when you have little tots in tow, a great house in an average location just does not cut it. As a parent, you want to have the whole package and move to an area where you can see yourself raising your kids and sending them to good schools. That said, you cannot just arbitrarily choose a house and lot for sale in Batangas or elsewhere you may be thinking of relocating.
You may love what you initially found and are lucky to snag it at such a competitive price. It may be sitting right in the middle of all the city action, but now that you have little tots in tow, it feels a little cramped. Prospective homeowners with kids have very specific considerations that other homeowners may not have. Having children means that you cannot just live in a fifth-floor walk-up. Looking for a home with kids in consideration often means that your priorities shift. Proximity to a bustling nightlife, eclectic restaurants, and a busy district will now become less important than access to good school districts, crime rates, and a sense of community. All that said, you need to be a little meticulous in your search, but as a prospective homeowner, what characteristics should you look out for?
Here are some of the things to look out for in a potential new family-friendly neighborhood:
1.) Low Crime Rates
Your family’s safety should be of paramount consideration. In fact, one of the most important things for you to be on the lookout for when choosing a neighborhood is how safe it is. Crime may happen even in the nicest of neighborhoods, but it does not hurt to do your own research online and look up relevant data with regard to the potential area you are looking to move into. Look up crime statistics as these help you determine which areas are more prone to crime. Generally, these are the areas you want to avoid so that you can feel a sense of confidence about your family’s safety.
2.) Child-Friendly Amenities
It goes without saying that child-friendly neighborhoods typically have kid-friendly amenities. Safe areas can be pretty dull, which may not leave you and your kids with not much to do. As a parent, you probably want to select a safe neighborhood because it is family and kid-friendly and not because it is filled with older people. An excellent way to find a community that will be both safe and fun for your kids is to scope out the area for child-friendly amenities. Look for neighborhoods with plenty of parks to ensure that you always have a place to take your kids. Similarly, you can also choose a home that is near skate parks, community pools, museums, playgrounds, and other amenities that will keep your kids entertained and help them love, where you and your family live. Apart from keeping your kids entertained, finding a place with the right amenities will be a lot more convenient for you as it can go a long way in preventing boredom in the house. More importantly, simply taking your kids to these child-friendly amenities can be an opportunity for them to meet other kids in the neighborhood and befriend them.
3.) Good Schools
Unless you are planning to homeschool your kids, you might want to do thorough research on the schools in the area. Some parents may argue that they can always drive their kids to and from school, but in today’s traffic conditions, it makes more sense to enroll them in a good school nearby. If you have fallen in love with a home where the nearby schools are not exactly up to par with your standards, you may want to rethink your options or try to see if the school you have in mind is within reasonable driving distance from your new home. After all, it may be essential to live in a safe home but sending your kids to school and providing them with good education are both equally important.
4.) Service delivery of the local municipality
Nothing is more frustrating than moving into a new neighborhood and finding out that the trash refuse is not regularly picked up. As a result, homeowners will have to contend with piling trash for days before they are serviced and picked up by the garbage disposal company. That said, it is your responsibility to find out everything you can about the quality of the local government’s service delivery. Some of the things you should be on the lookout for are garbage disposal, power interruptions, and lack of water supply. These are the things can significantly impact your quality of life in your new home. You want you and your family to live as comfortably as possible, and for that to happen, these are the things you need to look into.
5.) Condition of the house
If you are contemplating buying a home that has been previously occupied, it is imperative to evaluate how much it will cost to restore the house. If the damages are primarily cosmetic, then you have to weigh your options and decide if living with it will be a problem. However, damages that affect and influence the functionality of the house may not be so easy to accept and overlook. This does not mean that you should be quick to dismiss the house, however. Instead, take stock of everything that needs to be repaired and find out how much it will cost you to fix it. If it is a little out of your budget, you might be better off buying a brand new house and lot. That said, factor the sum into your decision to buy the house at the price it is listed for.
6.) Kids playing outside
A good indicator of a kid-friendly neighborhood is, of course, children playing outside. Whenever possible, do a reconnaissance of the prospective neighborhood you are looking to move into and drive around the area on weekends or after school hours. Keep in mind that it is important to scout the neighborhood during different times of the day. If it is a family-friendly neighborhood, you will likely see kids walking or playing around. You may even notice children playing outside before or after dinner. However, if you spot rows upon rows of homes sporting Grandpa and Grandma House signs, it may suggest an absence of playmates for your kids. A neighborhood may be family-friendly, but if there is an abundance of seniors around, it may not exactly be child-friendly. Another thing to keep in mind is to note the age of the kids in the area. If there are mostly teenagers and pre-teens hanging around, it may not exactly be the best fit for your children. After all, you would want your kids to play with other kids who are similar or near their age.
7.) Friendly People
An easy and straightforward way to check the overall vibe of an area is to do a quick walk around and strike up a conversation with the people hanging out. Do not hesitate to initiate conversations with people you see in the parks or at playgrounds. More often than not, parents are receptive to questions. So, ask them what they like best about living in their neighborhood and tell them if there is anything, in particular, they do not like. Tell them that you are considering moving into the area. Apart from giving you a general feel of the people living in the neighborhood, striking up conversations with people in the area also gives you the chance to befriend other parents and may also be an excellent way to learn about neighborhoods you are interested in.
8.) Local Attractions
As a parent, your primary consideration in looking for a home is to find one that is a good place to raise your kids. However, this does not mean that you should disregard your own set of preferences. If you are not keen on being a homebody, see if there is anything you can do nearby. Are there any shops within walking distance? Is there anything you can do entertainment-wise, such as a cinema or a bar? Sometimes, these are the things that can make your new living space worth it or not. However, these are also the things that can drive the price of property up as well.
Looking for an ideal neighborhood for you and your family is important. This is especially true if you have kids. While it may be a challenge, it is not impossible. With the list above, you can help ensure that you end up having a home in a neighborhood where you can raise your kids and be a good fit for your household. If you have doubts and are unsure how to proceed, consider working with a real estate agent who is knowledgeable of the area and can potentially point you in the right direction.