Looking for a safe high-quality home to raise a healthy family is a challenge these days with skyrocketing real estate costs and the challenge of commuting. So many decisions to make! Below are a few guidelines to help you out:
While the home is an important consideration, neighbourhood is almost more so – and we’re not just talking schools here, but the way kids can play and move around. Drive the neighbourhood first, at various times of the day, to see if children are outside playing. Better yet, ask your kids which friend has the best home. Chances are it won’t have anything to do with having a big house, but with how easy it is to play inside and out. Does the neighbourhood have safe green space, where kids can roam a little and feel unobserved by adults, and yet still be safe? A kid’s dream is a home on a small street where ball hockey or jump rope are played, close to parks with play equipment, ravines, and community centres with kid programmes.
Carefully check the local schools, as well as day care options. When you’re moving outside the city centre and commute to work, you don’t need the added stress of having to drive your kids everywhere, including school and programming. Aim for an elementary school and high school nearby, or at the very least adequate busing.
The health benefits of green space cannot be underestimated. In Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods, for example, he says that even an hour a day in nature provides major relief from things like ADHD, anxiety and stress — and that no contact with nature is not good for mental, physical and emotional health. Louv isn’t the only one to extol the virtues of being outside – urban planners and architects, healthcare professionals, and even some developers are recognizing the benefits of green space. As good as parks and ravines are for your children, they’re even better if the whole family can enjoy the outdoors together.
Raising children is demanding enough of your time and energy, so you want a home that requires little or no maintenance. Sometimes you luck out and find a renovator’s dream in a perfect location for a lot less money, but the reality is that renovating costs have now outpaced the cost of a brand new bells-and-whistles home. Look for a layout that encourages family time — open main floor space for meals, homework, playing games or watching TV – as well as sufficient bedroom space for privacy. You also want a mudroom-entryway that can corral wet dirty boots and coats before it gets tracked into the living space. If you’re after a new home, research the builder to ensure you’ve bought something that will last.
Access to Amenities
Green space is wonderful for everyone’s health, but if you’re a million miles from shopping and services, the driving will add to your stress. Ideal is a main shopping street close by with all the services, such as drug stores, medical and dental offices, cafes and gourmet shops for specialty items. Also ideal is a being a quick drive from big box stores, and larger chain grocery stores for stocking up on supplies. You’ll also want to keep in mind other things like exercise classes, places of worship, transit stations and access to highways.
Mississauga is increasingly a destination for families with its excellent schools, plenty of parks and conservation areas, rivers for exploring and taking your canoe. Streetsville is probably Mississauga’s best kept secret. Nestled against the banks of the Credit River, with plenty of parks and hiking trails, it offers just the kind of green space a growing family needs. There are excellent elementary and high schools in walking distance, community centres for exercise classes and children’s programming, and the village’s main street has all the services you need but major shopping is a few minutes away at Erin Mills Town Centre, Square One, Dixie Outlet and Sherway Gardens.
What’s even more exciting is the brand-new townhouses developed and constructed by luxury homebuilder Dunpar Homes. Built to last, with careful attention paid to usable spacious floorplans, bedrooms that are big enough for king or queen beds and nightstands, and high end features in kitchen and bathrooms, you will not have to worry about maintenance for the life of your family. Speaking of maintenance, the best part is you don’t have to worry about landscaping or snow shoveling!