How to pick a child-friendly place to live

All parents want their children to grow up in healthy, happy surrounds where they can safely visit friends and go to the park or the shops, but it has become increasingly difficult to find such an environment.

Indeed, says Martin Schultheiss, CEO of Harcourts Africa, many parents have been led to choose homes in security estates in the past few years in the belief that these are now the only places where their children can enjoy a "normal" childhood.

"However, homes in these enclaves are often beyond the financial reach of young families and in any case, recent reports of criminal activity within estates have emphasised the need to ensure that they are indeed child-safe in just the same way as one would evaluate ordinary suburbs."

And there are measures prospective homebuyers can take to ensure that any area they are interested in is really family-friendly, he says.

"Of course you should look out for well-kept parks, streets and school yards, as well as youngsters walking or biking to and from school and mothers pushing prams to the shops, since these are good indicators that the residents feel safe.

"But you should also be sure to visit the neighbourhood at night and over weekends when any negative aspects are likely to be more visible. What if the main road becomes a hotrod track on Friday nights, or the local pizzeria morphs into an unruly action bar on Saturday afternoons? And you surely don't want to live where groups of youths seem to have nothing better to do on a Sunday than spray graffiti on all the garden walls."

It is also a good idea, says Schultheiss, to establish whether there are useful family amenities in the area, such as sports fields, a tennis club or a public pool, a library, a community centre and school after-care centres for smaller children.

"You should consult a good local estate agent to get these details, as well as information about all the local schools, the area's crime rate and the activities of the local community policing forum. In addition, it's bound to give you confidence if you find that the agent lives happily in the area with his or her own family."


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 23 Jan 2018
      Many people only start thinking about home-ownership when they are ready to “settle down” or start a family, which is why first-time buyers these days are generally in their mid-30s, compared to those in the previous generation who were usually in their mid-20s.
    • 22 Jan 2018
      Moving away from the city to a country or coastal town and a slower-paced life is a frequent new-year resolution for South Africans, but thorough research should be done before you break free from the hustle and bustle, because making the wrong move could turn out to be a very expensive mistake, and even more stressful for you and your family than staying in the “big smoke”.
    • 22 Jan 2018
      Cape Town is home to many breathtaking and historic homes, but House Invermark designed in 1969 by South African architect Gilbert Colyn, with inspiration from two modernist icons: the Glass House by Phillip Johnson and Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is in a class of its own.
    • 22 Jan 2018
      2017 was a challenging year for the South African property market in general, despite small pockets of thriving activity in areas like the Western Cape. As we head into 2018, Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, casts his eye forward to property trends and market influences that could make their impact felt in the New Year.
    • 19 Jan 2018
      Extending from Randfontein in the west to Roodepoort in the east and including the towns of Krugersdorp and Magaliesburg, the West Rand has a plethora of property available to residents who choose to make this unique area their home.
    • 19 Jan 2018
      When it comes to financial planning, doing the work to ensure you’re prepared for unexpected emergencies is just as important as ticking off your other goals and New Year’s resolutions. The beginning of the year is also the perfect time to review your various insurance policies.
    • 19 Jan 2018
      No surprises at the first Monetary Policy Committee of 2018, as Reserve Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, announced that the interest rates would stay at their current levels.
    • 18 Jan 2018
      The Southern Suburbs make up some of the most popular residential areas in Cape Town, comprising charming groups of suburbs which lie to the south-east of the slopes of Table Mountain. It is seen as the city's most expensive residential neighbourhoods with a choice of various private schools, upmarket eateries, wine estates, beautiful homes and trendy apartments.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us