Many parents dream of buying their own house to raise their children in, but that’s not always possible. If you need to move into an apartment complex with your children, you are likely have some special needs beyond those of the typical tenant. This article will help you prepare to find a great apartment complex that’s not just safe but also fun for kids to live in. Finding the right place will take a lot of preparation and research, but you and your child will be happier for it.
Safety is probably the number one concern when selecting an apartment complex where your children will live. Beyond basic concerns like a well-made building, new and properly functioning appliances, adequate lighting around the complex, a gate to keep strangers out, and strong locks on the doors and windows, there are many other factors to consider. It’s important for children to be able to connect with other kids nearby, so make sure the area around the apartment building is safe as well. Is there a park, playground, or other kid-friendly hangout area in safe walking distance? Is the complex near any large, dangerous streets? It may be worth compromising some amenities to live in a place where your child can safely walk to a playground or friend’s house.
Your child’s access to school is also extremely important. If you won’t be driving the kids to school, is there a bus stop nearby? Will it be safe for your child to walk to the bus stop? Ideally, you should find a safe neighborhood within walking distance of a great school. Shop around, since reducing the stress surrounding your child’s daily transportation to and from school will be a boon for both you and your kid.
Since safety is a major factor when children are involved, it’s worth checking with local police to determine the crime factor in the apartment complex and area. Having this information will let you make an informed decision about whether the area is safe enough for you and your family.
Many children enjoy swimming and would love to live in an apartment with a pool. However, most apartments do not have lifeguards and do not guarantee any level of pool safety. Keep this in mind when signing a lease for an apartment with a pool and make sure that your children only swim when supervised.
Readily available entertainment—hopefully in the form of fellow kids—is a great way to keep kids interested in and excited about their apartment living situation. When looking at a prospective apartment, ask the management and residents if there are many kids around, and ask parents if their kids play with other children in the apartment complex. Keeping kids entertained at home also discourages them from trying to leave the apartment complex or going somewhere unsupervised. Many apartments keep a DVD library and offer free DVD rental services, which can be a great way to let the kids rent their own movies without leaving the safety of the apartment complex. Some properties may also have libraries of books or board games, which are also great ways to entertain kids. Ask about entertainment options for kids and adults, as well as community nights that might have food or other fun for the family.
As noted, it’s nice for an apartment to be located near a playground or other area where your child can play on a regular basis. If that’s not possible, you may want to live in a complex with at least some open area where the kids can play sports or just run around. Some properties may have basketball hoops or other recreational features, so check with the management to see what’s available.
Get Input from the Kids
It’s crucial to let your child have at least some input into where the family will be living. Take kids with you to look at properties, and ask them what they like or dislike about different places. You obviously can’t base your housing decision entirely on the kids’ preferences, of course, but it’s important to take them into consideration. If you pick the apartment your kids like the least, they may feel resentful. Should it be necessary to move somewhere that your children might not like as much, at least explain why you picked that place, and think of ways to make your children feel more comfortable there.
If you consider issues of safety and entertainment, as well as your children’s desires, you’ll be able to pick a great place for your family to live!