Are you on the lookout for a new home? According to some sources, people move around 12 times during their lifetimes. Some move more often than the average and others less frequently. And, as you can imagine, people pack up and go elsewhere for many reasons.
Whatever the reason you’re poised to call a realtor, put up a for sale sign, and go on the hunt for a new place, you’ll have much to consider if you’re moving with young children. That means figuring out what makes for a kid-friendly neighborhood or community.
While there are many good places you can go to raise a family, you need to know how to find them.
Keep reading for five tips for finding a house or condominium in a kid-friendly area.
1. Look for Good Schools
One of the top things to consider is if there are good schools in the area. Considering that kids may spend six or seven hours a day at school, you can appreciate the importance of finding schools with solid curriculums, good teachers, enjoyable extracurricular activities, and good amenities.
While focusing on what the schools offer your children is essential, you also need to look at the distance of the schools from your new home. Will your kids take a school bus, get rides to school, or walk to and from school Monday to Friday? Depending on your answer to that question, you’ll want to decide how far you want to live from your children’s schools.
You won’t have trouble finding communities with well-regarded schools whether you want to move to a city or suburb. But one reason it makes sense to buy a house or condo in a city is that you’ll usually be a short walk, bike ride, or drive from schools, stores, entertainment, restaurants, and loads of other things. And if you move to a downtown area, you might not even require a vehicle to get around since everything will be relatively nearby.
2. Look for Parks and Green Space
Nothing beats spending time in the great outdoors. That’s why one of the things you’ll want in a new community is space for your kids to get outside and romp around on green grass. Parks and playgrounds with grass and trees will provide the perfect outdoor venue for your children to get the physical activity, recreation, and social interaction they need to be happy and healthy.
Experts recommend keeping kids aged one and a half to two years old from screens — save for video chats with loved ones. It’s also best to restrict kids from two to five years old to a single hour of screen time daily. Meanwhile, kids should spend three hours every day outdoors. The closer you are to places where your kids can get outside and play, the easier it will be for them to do so.
3. Look for a Community With a Low Crime Rate
You’ll also want to find a safe neighborhood. Don’t just focus on the cost of a home. A home in an unsafe area might look attractive and be priced just right. But that might be because demand is lower for homes in the regions that experience a lot of crime. You want your family to be safe. If your kids have to walk to and from school, you’ll want to know they don’t face any greater risk in the community you move to. Do some online research to see how safe different communities are. It’s better to know now than after you move into a home.
4. Look for Local Review
Look online for reviews written by people living in any of the communities you’re considering. If you use a site like Trulia, you can refer to the What Locals Say ratings on each Neighborhood page. You can find out if a neighborhood is quiet, if kids tend to play outdoors, if the streets are appropriately lit, if there are sidewalks, if the people there are friendly, and more. You can get information that informs your decision-making.
5. Look for a Calendar of Local Events
Once you find a community that seems to fit the bill, look online for a local calendar of events. Are there libraries that host special activities for kids? Are swimming lessons available? Are there concerts, outdoor farmer’s markets, and other things that’ll benefit your kids? Looking at these local events calendars will help you find the perfect community for your family.
These are some things to consider if the time has come to relocate, whether for a job, better schools, or just to turn the page and get a fresh, new start somewhere else. These five considerations are things to mull over if you’re moving with children.