If you and your family are planning a move, you have a lot of choices to make. Do you want to live in an apartment or a house? How many bedrooms do you need? Where do you want to live? These are all important questions, but when there are kids in the picture, that needs to take center stage – you need to be sure that your new residence is family friendly. With that in mind, though, it’s important to remember that family-friendly properties can take many different forms.
At the highest level, families who are looking for a new place to live should be attentive to the overall location of the home or apartment, as well as what schools and other resources are in the area. You don’t want to move your school-age child from an area with a top-performing public school to one where students aren’t doing well.
Similarly, you don’t want to situate your family far away from central community hubs, such as parks and libraries or your house of worship. Do your homework and think about how the location of your new home would impact your day-to-day life.
Check For Pets
It’s generally acknowledged both by tenants and property managers that pet-friendly properties are more likely to be family-friendly – and there are several reasons for that. First, property managers recognize that a lot of the people who seek out pet-friendly properties are also parents because they want to raise their children with a family pet. These properties may also have more outside space to allow for pet-friendly amenities and services like dog runs or space to let pets out, and added space is also a boon for families.
Another reason why property managers suggest that pet-friendly properties may be more family-friendly is that they have a higher tolerance for noise and may generally have closer relationships between neighbors. After all, if people are outside walking their dogs and chatting or dogs are barking, then children who are outside playing or making noise won’t be considered unusually disruptive.
Everyone wants their landlord to be responsive to maintenance requests, but for families with children, a small snafu like a plumbing or heating problem can feel much more urgent. With that in mind, look for properties with a good reputation for quick repairs and ask about 24/7 maintenance. While individually managed properties may have limits on how much they can offer, as the property management group Green Residential explains, professional management groups can prioritize maintenance requests and dispatch professionals to fix those problems in a timely manner. They’re also more likely to offer round-the-clock services, even if they have to contract out.
Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
When Frost wrote that “good fences make good neighbors,” he was talking about maintaining clear boundaries and mutual respect, but for families with children, good fences are a literal concern. When looking for a new home for your family, then, check play areas and other open spaces for proper fencing and other security measures. This is especially important if the property neighbors a busy street or shopping center. A property doesn’t need a playground to be considered family-friendly, but a tidy yard can attract families and makes sure children playing outside are safe.
Don’t let house hunting stress you out. Children are adaptable and as long as a property is safe, they’ll be fine. While everyone wants more than merely safe, the good thing about rentals is that, if you’re unhappy, you can always wait out the lease and move on to something new. And of course, your friendly faces may be just what a property needs to welcome families with children more readily.