How to find your city’s most family-friendly suburbs

City parents looking for a new home to accommodate a growing family also have to try to ensure that the area they choose is child-friendly, and that can prove quite difficult in an age of rapid urbanisation and mixed-used developments which can very quickly change the character of a whole neighbourhood.

However it is not at all impossible, says Gerhard Kotzé, the new MD of the RealNet estate agency group, especially if you make use of the following guidelines during your home search:

*Once you’ve identified some areas you think might be suitable, make a point of visiting them at different times of the day – before you even view any homes there. It’s amazing how quickly an area that is quiet during the day can become nightclub central after dark.   

*During the day, you should also look out for any signs that there are other children living there, like swings and climbing frames, tricycles and bikes - and for children themselves, perhaps walking to or from school, playing in the park, or learning to skateboard. Try to gauge their ages too, to see if your children would be likely to find friends of their own age.

*Observe whether the area is generally clean and well-maintained. Cracked pavements, litter and overgrown parks are usually signs of a neighbourhood in decline and possibly not that great for children to live in. Numerous piles of bricks and building sand, however, could signal that you have found an area where lots of new families are moving in and renovating, and where your young family would feel right at home.      

*Chat to an experienced local agent about schools in the area and other amenities like parks and gardens, recreation centres and sports clubs, as well as shops and public transport. Then go and check out a few for yourself to see if they are family-friendly and would enhance your quality of life in this suburb.

*Do some further research and find out if the area has any active youth groups, after-school care centres, service clubs and neighbourhood watch groups. All of these are indicators of a neighbourly, caring community and a child-friendly area.

*Once you do start viewing properties, make a point of asking whether the neighbours are friendly and what community activities there are for children. Trust your instincts if you get answers that indicate this might not be quite the place you thought it was, and move on.      

“One of the major reasons for the rising popularity of lifestyle estates and other secure complexes is the peace-of-mind they offer parents as regards their children’s safety,” Kotzé notes.

“But fortunately there are still many other options for parents who can’t afford to buy homes in such developments - especially if they are prepared to do some careful homework and seek some help from a trained real estate professional before deciding where to settle their family for what could well be the next 10 or 20 years.”


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Penthouses are synonymous with New York – characterised by high-rise living that is decidedly luxurious and spacious. While exclusivity comes at a price, you can still create a “penthouse” look and feel in your existing apartment or even the upstairs bedroom of a double storey house with some clever design changes and styling touches.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      The area has long been popular with kite surfers and, with escalating property prices in Cape Town itself, is increasingly in demand with home owners who work in town, but are looking to invest in more affordable properties.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Cape Town’s popularity as a world-class tourist destination has resulted in a spike in the number of homes available for holiday lets and fuelled investor demand for sectional title units with short term rental potential.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      Sappi, one of South Africa’s oldest global companies and a leading global supplier of sustainable woodfibre products, has moved its global and regional headquarters to a new site on the corner of Oxford and 14th Avenue in Rosebank.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      There’s an old saying in real estate that you should seek to make a profit when you buy, not only when you sell – and a large part of succeeding at that endeavour is buying a home in an area with desirable features that will enhance the resale value of your property.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us