Neighborhood features to look for if you’re starting a family


Even if you’ve just started thinking about starting a family, you’ve probably noticed your priorities slowly starting to change. Although they are quite small, babies have a way of filtering our view of what’s important in a new home and community. If a growing family is in your future, this Trulia article, via Forbes, highlights the neighborhood features to consider in your new home search.

1. School district information

The school district you choose is one of the weightiest decisions for many parents. Of course, you want a school that offers a high-functioning environment for learning. You’ll get an A-plus for research when you use Trulia Maps to help with your search. If you want to know more about each school district, use the Schools layer by choosing your city and clicking on “Schools.” You’ll find the GreatSchools rating and the number of students per teacher. Once you spot an area you like, visit the neighborhoods that feed into that school. GreatSchools’ ratings are based on test score and although a good starting point, test scores are not the only factor families use to determine the right school district for them. Once you spot an area you like, visit the neighborhoods that feed into that school.

Visit the school in person as well if you can. “In some areas, the most popular and high-performing schools are oversubscribed and overcrowded,” says Alina Adams, author of Getting Into NYC Kindergarten. “Don’t just ask if the schools are good; ask if they usually have room for all the students who want in.”

2. Crime rates

From the moment you become a parent, your job is to keep your child safe. You babyproof the home, maintain regular doctor visits and keep your child out of harm’s way. Searching for a neighborhood with a low crime rate ranks right up there. You might assume that a rural area is safer than the suburbs, which is safer than the city. But that isn’t always the case.

You can check out the crime risk of any neighborhood by using the Crime layer in Trulia Maps. The maps let you explore the safety of an area, right down to reported incidents. If you love the city and wish to expose your children to culture and the arts as Joan Kagan, sales manager at TripleMint Real Estate in New York, NY did, use the Crime layer to help narrow down neighborhoods for your safety preferences. “You want to feel safe in your neighborhood, especially when you have children,” says Kagan, who raised three boys on the city’s Upper West Side. “In addition, once your children are teenagers, it is great for them to be able to explore the city. You want to feel safe with them leaving your apartment on their own.”

3. Strong community network

When you’re just starting a family, of course, you’ll keep your childless friends. But face it: Your interests are suddenly quite a bit different. While all you want to do is talk about the best ways to get your baby to sleep through the night, all they want to do is stay out all night (and sleep in the next morning!). So you’ll need to build a new network for yourself and for your children.

If this tops your list of priorities, look for evidence of other families while you’re on the house hunt. Are children playing on the sidewalks? Bikes or wagons in the front yard? Families out together for a walk? All of these signs point to a thriving neighborhood for families — and lots of potential friends for you and your kids.


Read the full article: Neighborhood Features To Look For If You’re Starting A Family

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