Susan McPherson's Blog
When moving with children, or with family planning in mind, house hunting goes beyond finding the right house. You want to also find the right neighborhood and community to raise your child in. You want to find the right place for your child to happily and safely grow up.
Here's your guide to choosing the best neighborhood for your kids.
When you start house hunting draw up a list of towns and neighborhoods that catch your eye.
Having a list of priorities will help to make the house hunting process in each neighborhood much easier. Decide on your top 3 neighborhoods and towns in addition to your non-negotiable house features.
Many couples start to be researching the town’s schools. Look into the budget, what extracurricular activities are available, and if there are any recent news articles profiling the school.
Don’t just look into the kindergartens and elementary schools - look at the middle and high school as well. What are their reputations?
Visit the community center and library to find out what groups and activities are available. This is a great place to find out how involved the community is. Pick up any local newspapers or magazines and spend time flipping through the pages.
Search Meetup.com and local Facebook groups to see what kind of involvement community members have. This is also a great way to connect with other parents and ask them any questions you might have.
Take a drive through your potential neighborhoods at different times of the day. This will help you to see what each neighborhood has to offer. Are there lots of younger children at pickup and drop off times at bus stops? Or are there older children riding their bikes around?
Are there playgrounds and parks within walking distance? If your child is in extracurricular activities, or you plan for them to be, are there dance or martial arts academies with good reviews in the area?
It’s also important not to discount the importance of proximity to family and friends. We’ve all heard the saying it takes a village to raise a child. Keep distance and travel time from family in mind when making your choice.
Take the future cost of raising a child into consideration while drawing up your budget. Finding the right neighborhood and community is a process of checks and balances. You might have to be willing to compromise in some areas to check off those non-negotiables. This could look like finding a slightly smaller house in a nicer neighborhood or living further away from the city.
Knowing what your priorities are before you begin house hunting and what to look for in each neighborhood will make the process much smoother. It can be a lot of pressure to find the perfect home but when we define our own version of perfect things can fall together much more easily.
59 Hunting Lane, Sherborn, MA 01770
24 Great Rock Rd, Sherborn, MA 01770
If you’re hunting for a new home and have come across one that fits all of your requirements and more, it can seem like the only thing you can do is make an offer and wait.
However, your first choice could also be another buyer’s dream home. And, if a higher bid isn’t feasible, you have to find other ways to win over the seller. One way this can be achieved is through writing a letter to the owner of the home.
If you’re bidding on your dream home, writing a letter the the owner can be anxiety inducing. Choosing what to reveal and finding the right words can be scary, even for the most seasoned writer.
So, in this article we’re going to walk you through writing a letter to a seller to give you the best possible chance of winning the bid for a new home.
Tell them why you love their home
If you’ve fallen in love with certain aspects of the home, there’s a good chance the sellers did too. Be personal in your explanations. Rather than just say you love the location, mention that it is a perfect distance to walk to the playground with your children or pets. This will help buyers better understand you and your story.
If you have family who lives nearby, or if the home has features that can greatly improve the life of you, your family, or your pets, be sure to mention this in the letter as well.
Don’t press or plead, just be polite
It can seem desperate and off-putting to receive a letter pleading with you to sell your home to someone. So, when you’re writing your letter and you come to the end, simply thank the buyer for their time and for reading, compliment them once more, and wish them luck in their new home.
Revise and review
It can be tempting to send your letter immediately after writing it, especially if writing is you don’t like writing in general. However, it’s always a good idea to revise. I suggest writing your letter one night, then reading it again the next evening to give yourself time and distance from it--this way you’ll be reading it with fresh eyes and will be able to find any wording that sounds strange or confusing.
It’s also a good idea to run your writing through a free proofreader like Grammarly. And, finally, there is no substitute for having an editor. Ask one of your friends or family members to read the letter and give you feedback.
Stand out from the crowd
There are a few things you can include in your letter to set you apart from other potential buyers. Including a family photo will help the sellers put a face to the names you mention in the letter.
It can also be helpful to print and mail the letter, rather than sending it electronically. Since we so rarely receive a physical copy of a letter these days (unless it’s from a bill collector), it can be nice to receive something positive in the mail for a change.