Getting married, starting your family, moving into your first home — these are hallmarks of the American dream for many people who only want to do what they love while raising their families in a safe, welcoming environment. Finding a home you love is the fun part, but in addition to considering the square footage, the size of the backyard, and how many bedrooms it has, you also need to think about the neighborhood that it’s in. Safety is paramount, so here are some things to consider before you move into a new neighborhood.

Educate Yourself on the School District

Image via Flickr by Phillip Pessar

Needless to say, if you’re looking for a neighborhood that’s ideal for children, the school district is one of your first priorities. A simple Google search reveals almost everything you need to know, including quality of education, teacher-to-student ratios, as well as the triumphs or issues of the district and particular schools. You also should think about proximity, bus routes, and whether your child has to take public transportation.

In addition to researching the local schools online, talk to your potential neighbors, particularly those with children who are the same age as yours or older. In other words, speak frankly with people whose kids attend the schools in question. Ask about the teachers, academic programs, extracurricular activities, and graduation rates, for starters.

Research Your Neighbors

It’s essential to know who your neighbors are. Maybe you can’t study all of them by name, but you can discover who’s living in your area. Look up sex offender registries and similar services that reveal the presence of offenders in the vicinity. Uncovering such information about the people in the area may push you in another direction, but that’s all right; your family’s safety is your priority.

Brush up on Crime Stats

It’s critical to look into the crime statistics of any area before you move there. Not only does it affect your family’s safety, but a crime-ridden neighborhood also impacts your homeowner’s and automobile insurance. More to the point, you don’t want to live in an area with a high percentage of break-ins or violent crime. Even if your potential neighborhood has low crime, you should still research the local police departments and other emergency services to learn about their quality, quickness, and reputations.

Check Out the Water Quality

Water is the drink of life. It’s essential. You can buy all the bottled water you want, but you don’t want your spouse or children bathing in or brushing their teeth with sub-par water. You don’t even want the kids playing under the sprinklers if the water’s no good. At the same time, take a look at any information regarding sewage, as well as any past issues with water or other utilities.

A lot of considerations go into the purchase of a new home or the big move to a new neighborhood. Only you know what’s right for your family, but keeping them safe, secure, and happy is paramount. How will you decide on your next move?

Author

Cheryl Posner is the owner of Winey Mommy. Of course, she loves wine, her family, and writing about it all (in no certain order).

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