This is the fourth in a series of articles written for home buyers who are parents of young children. You can read about the first tip, “Consider the Street Traffic,” the second, “Walk Through the Home with Your Baby-proofing Hat On,” or the third, “Check Out the Neighbors.”
TIP #4: RESEARCH AREA BUSINESSES, ORGANIZATIONS, & SERVICES
Everyone knows that the school district is an important factor in choosing a neighborhood. (For a nifty report on specific school districts, visit the TEA’s accountability report HERE.) But it isn’t the only aspect parents should consider. It’s a good idea to check out local child care facilities, sports leagues, youth organizations, parks, libraries, and other available services.
Being near a YMCA or a gym with childcare is a lifesaver for a lot of stay-at-home parents. It’s probably the cheapest childcare available, and I know from experience that if you don't feel like working out, you can just take a book and relax in the lobby! A nice local library and plenty of different parks will also make life with children easier. One effective strategy is to visit a local park and try to strike up a conversation with parents from the area. They will be able to tell you where to find the most kid-friendly places nearby, including sports leagues, ballet classes, and more.
It’s also a good idea to make sure there are some options for good childcare facilities nearby. Even if today you are a stay-at-home parent, that might change in the future. It will be an easier change if you have options. You can do some pretty detailed research on childcare facilities at the Department of Family and Protective Services search page HERE.
Finally, be sure to check out the various clubs, organizations, sports leagues, and private classes available in the area. Shuttling different kids to soccer, ballet, gymnastics, piano lessons, French lessons, etc., will be a lot easier if you don’t have to drive across town for them!
Contributed by Cassie Villela.
Cassie Villela is a real estate investor and mother of two in San Antonio, Texas.