With the end of the academic year just around the corner many families will be making plans to move before the start of the new school year. For families with children looking to relocate, finding a family friendly neighbourhood is top on the list of their criteria.
Here at Grace, we’ve put together a list of things to consider when choosing a family friendly neighbourhood:
Whether you want to rely on a car or use public transport will play a big factor in deciding where to live. Consider whether the neighbourhood is close enough for you to walk or cycle to work, to the local shops, etc or do you need to use a car. Research shows that if there are no stores or facilities within walking distance, families do not get as much exercise because they have to drive everywhere.
You may be happy to drive everywhere but think about the time it will take you and your partner to commute to work. If the commute will always cut into your children’s dinner and/or bedtime routine, you may want to reconsider where you live.
At the same time, consider what happens when your children become teenagers. Having adequate access to public transport is important in the years prior to getting their license. Consider whether there is a bus stop or train station located close to your home or will your child have to take a bus, a train and another bus to get to where they want to go.
What else is in the neighbourhood? Does it have a mix of features like schools, parks, recreational facilities, places of worship, stores, library, doctor and dentist?
We all dream of a place where our children are free to run outside so safety is important. Consider whether there is a lot of traffic and what the speed limit is on your desired street. Also have a look at things to slow drivers down like speed humps and roundabouts.
If you want to get out and about, a footpath along the street is invaluable. Check whether the footpath is in good condition (especially important if you have a pram). Likewise, if you intend on going bike riding, is there a bike lane?
Safety also relates to the security of the neighbourhood. Other signs a neighbourhood or town may not be ideal for families are the presence of adult book or video stores, pawn shops or liquor stores.
Many people choose their home according to where they want to send their children to school. It’s important to check out local schools before moving into an area. Is there a good school in walking distance from your home? If you already have a school picked out, find out if your desired street is in the school’s catchment area or if you intend on sending your children to school further away make sure there is a bus stop they can safely reach.
Playgrounds play a big part in choosing a neighbourhood, particularly for families with young children. The best playgrounds are ones you can safely walk to and are accessible with a pram. Remember not all playgrounds are created equal. Child friendly playgrounds have clean sand and safe and innovative play structures that promote good child development.
Ideally the neighbourhood has plenty of other families with children. Look for houses with strollers or bikes out the front, or cars with car seats in the back. The more families that live in a neighbourhood, the more family friendly it will be.
While not all homes and neighbourhoods will have all the features you want, it’s important to consider which ones you won’t compromise on. Once you’ve chosen the perfect street for you and your family, let Grace Removals help you achieve a stress free move.