What Families Need to Look For When Choosing a Neighborhood

What Families Need to Look For When Choosing a Neighborhood

  • Maryanne Elsaesser
  • 08/16/22

Finding somewhere to live is easy when you’re single or newly married. Are you close to the bars you love, the restaurant you eat at every weekend, and your place of work? Great, it’s perfect! When looking for homes for sale in Ridgewood or Wyckoff to start a family, though, it’s a little more complicated. Okay, a lot more complicated.

There are some serious things you need to consider before you make an offer on a property in one of these beautiful New Jersey communities. Not all Wyckoff real estate is made the same, so choosing the best property for you and your family is vital. These are the biggest things to look for. 

Are the streets walkable?

Consider this: you’ve just had a baby, maybe a month ago, and you’re ready to start getting out of the house. If your Wyckoff real estate has sidewalks and tree-lined streets, pacing yourself for a block or two at first can be a relatively easy task. If your neighborhood isn’t walkable, you’ll have to pack the car and the baby to head to the park.

This applies to any phase of raising children. Toddlers would love a walk around the neighborhood, but when you have to leave your community, it becomes less of a spontaneous adventure and more of an all-afternoon chore. When you’re looking at homes for sale in Ridgewood or Wyckoff, consider if you want a walkable neighborhood and the benefits it might bring.

Other families around

Many people form long-lasting relationships with their neighborhood friends. You grow up together, experience many firsts together, and develop solid and intense bonds that can last well into adulthood. If you’re looking at Wyckoff real estate, it might be good to know if there are other kids within the neighborhood near the ages of your own children.

You can talk to your realtor to get an idea; better yet, if you find a property you fall in love with, you could speak to the neighbors. Driving around after school will also give you a good idea of the sense of community and engagement and help determine the friends your children might make along the way. While it’s not the only thing to consider when looking at homes for sale in Ridgewood or Wyckoff, it is important.

Proximity to schools

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Have you always wanted your children to walk to middle and high school? It’s such an iconic piece of Americana, but it’s going to vastly determine where you end up looking for homes. Once you narrow down if you’re looking at Wyckoff homes, Ridgewood real estate, or Franklin Lakes houses, then you can determine what schools you would like your kids to attend. After that, you can look into school districts and their educational offerings, after-school programs and recreational activities, and other criteria.

What amenities are near that you value most?

Take some time before you look for homes for sale in Ridgewood or Franklin Lakes to think about what you value near your home. A 25-minute drive to the grocery store, or 40 minutes to your preferred pediatrician, is slightly annoying once. When you’re doing it every single week for 18 years of your life, it’s an immense frustration. The same goes for daycare facilities, churches, and community organizations.

Being close to your doctors and preferred places to shop just makes sense when raising a family in the area. There might be a grocery store down the street from that “nearly perfect” piece of Wyckoff real estate, but if it’s not the one you actually like shopping in, it’s relatively useless.

Work commute

Homes for sale in Ridgewood only make sense if they work for your job, too. You might feel like you could handle a very long commute, but it really wears you down after a while. More importantly, it takes away from time with your family. If you can find a great property that is also close to work, you’ll have much more free time at home with your family.


Photo courtesy of Unsplash
Some people miss this crucial factor when searching for homes in the winter or in the heat of summer when the idea of going to the park for any length of time seems laughable. However, choosing Franklin Lakes or Wyckoff real estate within a reasonable distance of a park or trails is an excellent idea if you value family fun in the open spaces and playgrounds.

Just like with a walkable neighborhood, being able to drive just a few minutes (or even walk!) to a nearby park or nature trail will add a ton of value to your life. Ideally, a park with amenities you like will be within walking distance, but a short drive is also good.

Must-haves matter, so make a list

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Finally, make sure you understand what you absolutely need before you start looking for homes for sale in Ridgewood or Wyckoff. Sit down with your family and make a list of everything you absolutely need in a home. Maybe you really need a fourth bedroom, not just for guests but if another family member comes along. Perhaps a big backyard is important for the dog that you’ve been promising your kids.

No two lists look identical, so really think hard about it. You can also have a “want” list with amenities and features that would be nice to have if you find a home that fits all your dreams.

When are you planning on starting the search?

When looking at Wyckoff real estate to fit your family’s needs, you need to consider the “when” of the home search, too. Finding a home that’s the perfect fit for your entire family (and future family plans) may be a challenge, but it will be worth it in the end if you stay focused on your goals and preferences.

When you’re ready to take the next step, reach out to The Home Navigators. This expert group of real estate professionals has been handling northern New Jersey real estate for years and has close ties to the community. There’s no one better to find you the best family home that suits your needs. Reach out today, and see what homes for sale in Ridgewood or Wyckoff have to offer you.

*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash

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