Having a family and raising your children are two of life’s greatest joys. When searching for a new home, finding a family-friendly neighborhood that will provide a safe, nurturing environment for your children is most likely included in your Must Have list. A great neighborhood can be key to a great childhood and to building a foundation for success. As a mother, a lifetime Pittsburgher and a real estate agent for over 13 years, I know what it takes to find a neighborhood that meets your family’s needs. A good place to start is with the three E’s.

Environment: What is the neighborhood like? A quick drive around the block can give you a first impression on what life in that community might be like. Are there any major roads that could mean regular traffic or dangerous street crossings? Where are common destinations like schools or parks located in relation to any house you’re considering? Is it an entirely residential area, or will you be close to any businesses? Also consider the people in the neighborhood. Are there many other families, particularly ones with children the same age as yours? Being a part of a family-centric community can mean friends for both the kids and you.

Education: A good education can be key in setting our kids up for success. What schools are in the neighborhood? Do they meet your criteria for your children’s education? Don’t forget to consider schools that will cover their entire Pre-K through 12th grade education. Remember to seek out other educational resources such as libraries, museums, art studios, and opportunities to play in sports and other organizations to add to the continued development of young minds.

Entertainment: A great neighborhood has plenty to offer when it comes to things to do. Are there good parks and fields for picnics and sports enthusiasts, or pools for swimmers? What about theaters, restaurants or a bowling alley? Having more things to do in your neighborhood means less time spent commuting, and as your children get older and become more independent, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing they’re never too far away. 

A lot goes in to choosing the right home. The right neighborhood is a step in the right direction.