If you’re on the hunt for a home to raise your family in, the idea of a “home with a great school district” can leave a lot to be desired. Great schools aren’t always the best indicator of a family friendly neighborhood. While a home may be in a highly rated school district it may not meet the needs of a family with children. What should you look for when searching for a home in a family friendly neighborhood?
A family friendly neighborhood will be within close proximity to amenities such as playgrounds, sports fields, and schools. The neighborhood will also be close to things like grocery stores and child care options. While the neighborhood may be further away from parents’ jobs, it provides much of the needs of the family as a whole within a short distance.
Keeping your children safe and giving them the opportunity to enjoy their neighborhood is important. You’ll want to be mindful of the amount of traffic on the street you’ll live on and also near locations such as schools and playgrounds. While your children may be young at the time of your purchase, they’ll eventually grow older and will start to do things independently so sidewalks and street lighting are important. You’ll want to make sure their routes are as safe as possible. Crime statistics can be found through City-Data.com and Meghan’s Law reporters can be found through Florida’s searchable database.
It’s one thing to live in a neighborhood but it’s quite another to have a community. When you look for a house, you’ll want to get a feel for the neighborhood. Talk with the owners about their opinions and experiences but also reach out to those people who will continue to live nearby. If they’re willing to answer your questions, ask them what they love about the area and what they don’t like and if they feel it’s an overall family friendly neighborhood. Don’t take one person’s testimony as gold, talk to a few neighbors, if you can, to get a feel for things.
Earlier in this post we said great schools aren’t always a best indicator of a family friendly neighborhood but they should still be taking into account when deciding on a neighborhood and a home. There are multiple sources that “grade” schools with either a number or letter but don’t rest your whole decision on that one designation. You should investigate the school for the things that are a priority to you; whether that be diversity, test performance, or special curriculum offerings.