The house buying process can feel like a mess of obligations, anxieties and compromises. However, with the following info – armed with a good list of real estate agents – you’ll know the best way to support your own house-buying dream, and give your kids the best foundation for a healthy, happy upbringing.
Safety & Crime
The number one priority for any mom is making sure your kids are as safe as possible. There’s a number of steps you can take to assess the safety of a neighborhood you’re thinking of buying in, before making a mistake like this buyer.
The first step is to have a gander at the local crime stats. If you type your new prospective zip code into the CrimeReports site, you’ll be presented with a good overview of recent incidents in the area.
You’ll see a local map showing dots of activity; when these are clicked they provide you with more details.
For more information specifically on registered sex offenders nearby, use the search facility on the U.S. Department of Justice website. You can input the address of your prospective home, and discover any sex offenders within a radius of up to three miles.
But it’s not just crime reports you need to keep an eye on: school quality, road conditions and future development plans all add up to the community you’ll soon be a part of. You can find this out through a mix of real-life visiting, and some relatively easy google searching.
Consumer Reports’ web tool is super useful for finding hospitals in your city, county or state. These are then ranked by proficiency and care, which also helps you build a better picture of your new home.
This is where Google maps comes into its own – check the location of the nearest schools, shops and jobs. When they’re old enough, walking about on their own is vital for fostering a sense of autonomy and curiosity.
Now, walkable doesn’t necessarily mean urban. Though it’s fantastic to be able to give your kids the power to walk about their own neighborhood – perhaps even to school – it can be similarly great to find a spot that’s a little more rural.
In this case, independence can be fostered through hikes and old-fashioned outside play. This is not only great for their physical health, but also helps teach them more about land stewardship and sustainability.
When you’re checking out the home, try your best to strike up conversations with neighbors. This will give you a better sense of who you’re living near to.
You don’t have to be instant best friends, but looking at how many other families are in the area will give you a good idea on how kid-friendly the local community is.
Also look at nearby extracurricular facilities like swimming pools, sports teams and book clubs. Along with a safe, supportive community, your new neighborhood should provide great fodder for your kids’ developing minds.