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We are planning to buy a new house this year. We live in the county and my husband really wants to stay within it. But, we still want to stay in our current school district so our kids don’t have to change schools.
Next school year, my daughter will be in the second grade and my son will be in the 9th grade (eek! He’s starting high school!!!).
So as we do our research, we have a pretty small geographic window to choose from, but we remain hopeful.
Here are things we’re considering:
The quality of schools in my new neighborhood is a big deal to my family. We work hard to ensure our kids have the best education possible. Areas with better schools usually have higher home values. So, we will have to keep that in mind with our budget.
If you are considering moving to a new area, check out the local school district’s website to start getting the information you need to understand whether a new school is a good fit for your kids.
2. Proximity to parks
I love to provide opportunities for my kids to get outside and play. If the neighborhood we move into doesn’t have a lot of families with kids that are the same age as my kids, this will be really important.
There’s a seven-year age difference between my kids, so they don’t typically like to do the same things outside. My son would rather shoot a basketball and my daughter loves the playground.
2. Proximity to a variety of grocery stores
One of the easiest ways to stretch my grocery budget is to shop at different stores. Now, I don’t shop at 10 stores each week. But, over the course of several weeks, I have shopped at several different stores.
I have access to at least five grocery stores, two national pharmacies, and two “big box” stores. I love not having to be dependent on any one of these stores to get everything my family needs.
3. Interstate Access
We live less than three miles away from the closest interstate access. This is important to me because both my husband and I have a 25-30-minute commute to work, each way. I don’t want to increase that any more than necessary by being forced to drive through two towns in traffic to get to work.
4. Crime Rates / Sex Offender Info
Most people worry about crime rates when they move into a new area or neighborhood. Do a quick Google search on your new area, search the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, or ask the local police department. This will tell you how many crimes and what types of crimes have been reported in the neighborhood.
Crime maps are also available that show the density of different types of crime in different areas.
The police will be also able to provide information about registered sex offenders living in the neighborhood or nearby neighborhoods. Visit FamilyWatchdog.us, a free database where you can search by street name or city.