Thirteen years ago, we moved our family to a new development that had an assortment of available lots. Some of these lots faced open space with an unpredictable future while others backed up on other homes. The perimeter lots had hefty premiums that could easily become worthless if another developer chose to build on the land. Some of these lots were only a block away from a noisy street. Was the extra charge worth the mountain view on the horizon? Most of the interior lots had a claustrophobic feeling since you could easily look into neighbors’ windows. We asked ourselves 2 questions. Would we need to keep our window coverings closed 24/7 in order to have privacy? Did we want so many neighbors?” Two blocks of homes were adjacent to a brand new neighborhood school and provided a less restricted setting. Did we want to live that close to a school? After living miles from our children’s public schools, we chose one of the sites that abutted the K-8 school. Living near a school was one of the best decisions that our family made.
Advantages From a Parent’s Perspective
Instills independence. Children can walk to and from school. They do not have to wait for the bus or a parent’s ride. Being in control enables children to budget their time accordingly while not being dependent on others.
Convenient. Living right next to a school eliminates wasted time. Children do not have to wait. They simply walk to school according to their schedule. The parents don’t have to spend any time transporting before or after school. Drop off and pick up lines are notoriously long. Avoiding this time consuming process is welcomed by most parents.
Cost. The expense of driving to and from school adds up. Yearly school bus fees are also an added expense. Due to budgetary restraints, schools across the country are either eliminating bus service to reduce costs or increasing bus tuition to offset the cost. Living close to school decreases extra costs and/or the necessity of driving a child to school.
Outdoor Amenities. School grounds are loaded with perks. Playground equipment usually tops the list. Usually the school property also includes basketball courts and fields for baseball and soccer. Some may even have tennis courts or other features. Being able to walk to these areas is a plus, especially for working parents with multiple children.
Safety. Children will have less chances of encountering predators or dangerous intersections if they live close to a school. Homes that are adjacent to schoolyards usually provide a prime view of the outdoor amenities. Parents can see their children by simply looking out the window or standing in their yard.
Advantages from a Child’s Perspective
Decreases Conflicts. Getting kids off to school in the morning can be a chore. Some kids cannot handle early mornings. A rushed atmosphere can be overwhelming. Family tension will be reduced when the wakeup routine is not a struggle.
Autonomy. Kids like being in control. Being able to walk to and from school can build a sense of empowerment.Equally important is having an assortment of outdoor activities just steps away. A ride is not needed to reach the playground equipment or play sports with friends.
Flexibility. Kids forget things on a regular basis. Living close to a school lessens the stress associated with forgetfulness. Children do not have to rely on a parent for a ride back to the school. They can simply return on their own time for the forgotten item.
Avoid Tedious Bus Ride. Many children prefer not to take a bus to school. The routine of riding a bus includes the time spent walking to the stop, waiting for the bus, and the bus ride. When you live close to a school, a simple walk replaces all of these time consuming steps.
When looking for a new home, parents need to consider many options. If children are going to attend the neighborhood school, the proximity to the school is one item that should be seriously considered. There are significant benefits to living near a school. After residing both close and far away from my children’s primary schools, I recommend buying a home that is adjacent to a school. The advantages far outweigh any negative feelings associated with viewing a school through a backyard window. The convenient and safer location provides greater flexibility in daily time management while simultaneously instilling childhood independence.
Sandra’s memoir highlights her living and teaching adventure in Bangalore, India. She is a licensed Colorado teacher who has taught K-12 students in the United States and abroad as well as college level courses. Sandra is married and has four adult sons. In response to her decision to downsize, Sandra started to write articles about her real estate experiences.
The memoir was a finalist in the Travel category for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the 2013 International Book Awards, the 2013 National Indie Book Excellence Awards and a Honorable Mention award in the Multicultural Non-Fiction category for the 2013 Global ebook Awards.