Neighborhood Living Vs. Non-neighborhood Living

Updated on May 03, 2011
K.C. asks from Solon, OH
10 answers

My husband and I have 3 boys - one in Elementary school and two in preschooI. We live on a main road in which we love our yard and neighbors, but the problem is we need more room....another bedroom, bathroom and possibly a bigger basement.
I am torn if we should move or add onto our home. A reason for moving would be to be in a neighborhood with sidewalks and hopefully kids for my kids to play with. On the other hand, where we live now we can arrange the playdates and not have kids at our house everyday in the summer if we should add on.

With the market the way it is....selling would be a loss, but putting that aside I have heard horror stories of lots of kids around all of the time. Then I think will my boys get into more trouble having more kids around? I just think back to my day and leaving the house in the morning and not coming back only to eat. It is a different day now and much more to worry about.

I would love to hear your experiences and thoughts......

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answers from Appleton on

I would add on to the house you already have. Since you love the place you are in now and have good neighbors, if you move you could end up with not so nice neighbors.

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answers from Milwaukee on

I live in a neighborhood and wish I didn't. Not a fan of the other people that live around here. Due to the economy many houses are now "rental" houses and people are constantly coming and going.

I rather go to a park than play around here.

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answers from Cleveland on

Oh I have been there. I love (d) my house, it sits in town on 3 lots so I have a yard, and it's fully fenced with a large patio for the kids to play on. It was great when they were small and everything we needed. However it isn't in the best area and now that my kids are bigger (12, 10 and 8) and want to do things like ride their bikes (further than the 1 block in front of the house) and so on I'm not comfortable letting them. At 12 and 10 I know my boys need some freedom, even if my 8 year old may still be to young to take off on her own.

It sounds like you have different reasons, but the same issue, and let me tell you, your kids will grow up, you setting up playdates will no longer work and they are going to want some freedom. IF you can afford the move, find a nice area where your kids will be able to have that freedom when the time comes. I'd give just about anything to live on a nice dead end street or in a small subdivision where I could let the kids go off for an hour and ride bikes, or go to a friends house (and call when they got there) without me having to set it up and drive.



answers from Saginaw on

We moved to a neighborhood with our three kids eldest is 6 yrs old. it is a mixed nieghborhood as they are still the origionals in the grandmas and grandpas and then there are us new move in's with young kids and I love it. We have always dreamed of the neighborhood and it has been wonderful, we have kids a bit older right next to us and kids the exact ages just two houses down and then more my kids ages another couple houses down. We live walkign distance from the elementary school. Now we are social people so we kinda like have the neighbors walk by. We say hi, small chat. Etc. We can't wait for summer (if it ever comes...) so we can get out and grill more and have fires.



answers from Cleveland on

I grew up with land & a house set back in the woods & a pond in our yard. My hubby grew up in a neighborhood. We each wanted to live somewhere like we grew up, so we compromised (sp?). We live in a house w/ a bit more land than I had growing up, we're not IN the woods, but our back yard has woods & trails, we're at the end of a cul-de-sac w/ 17 houses. We have some privacy (like I had growing up) but have neighbors. There are older people that have been here for 30 years, others who have kids in H.S. &/or college. There are also neighbors who have kids that are my kids ages. Everyone with younger kids have become pretty good friends, we've gone on vacations together, have bon fires, cookouts, go to each others kids b-day parties, etc. We have street garage sales & at least 1X/year have a cookout for the whole street at someone's house (or in the cul-de-sac). There are 7 or 8 families that said they weren't staying (including us & we've been here for 15 years & our house will be paid off in a few months) that now say they don't want to ever move.



answers from Minneapolis on

We went from city living (sans kids) to big neighborhood living (sans kids/finally kids) and although my husband and I would prefer to live where we can walk to dinner, etc. there is nothing like watching a pack of kids run and play together.

Our neighborhood is like how we grew up... kids running around, biking to each other's houses. We have 6 houses that back into each other (1/2 acre lots) and my daughter tells people she has a "come over yard". Personally I think the whole planned play date thing is so weird and helps create children who are socially dysfunctional. I once had a coworker who is in his 30's once say about his generation "I mean come on, we didn't even have to make our own friends" - sad but true. You'll be giving your children a big gift re: how to really play/interact with others.

On the other hand you do need to manage it and yes, there have been times when we've needed to close the blinds so they couldn't see that everyone was out. If we had to do it over again we would still live in a big neighborhood BUT get a house w/ some privacy in the back yard.... not one facing a bunch of houses. Best of both worlds there.


answers from Detroit on

I live in a Neighborhood and really like it. We have about 1/3 of an acre, so not a lot of land, but the houses are not right on top of each other. When we first moved in, many of the women were "chatty" when I would see them outside. They were quick to try and tell be about Susie and Karen and what they were doing. I let them know right out of the gate that I don't even know who they are talking about and I work Full Time, have a husband, kids and a house to care for. I could give a rats [email protected]* what anyone around us is doing!! Funny that those women don't feel the need to chat with me when they see me outside now ;)
My daughter is in Kindergarten, but she does not go to the public school that the other children go to. As a result, she knows maybe 1-2 kids on our block and randomly sees them outside while on her bike. I like having sidewalks for the kids to ride on or color on. I am sure in the years to come, my kids will make friends with the kids in our neighborhood and I like that they have that option. As long as you set the rules with your kids that they cannot just have kids over ALL the time without clearing it with you, I think it will be fine.



answers from Spokane on

Our last house was on a cul-de-sac and all 8 houses had at least two kids each (age range from 11yrs old down to my 2yr old). It was the BEST summer EVER, for myself and my kids. There was always a mom outside to chat with, there was always an older kid to encourage a younger, there were different fruit trees that everyone shared from, some people had a playset, some had a trampoline, some had a cool sprinkler toy. My son learned to ride a two wheeler on the first "push off" at five years old by watching his favorite eight year olds. If a kid fell and scraped their knee a couple of kids would sit with them and another would go get their mom. When it was too hot to be in the sun they would gather in my empty garage and chalk on the ground, when it was too hot to be outside at all they would parade into someone's house and spend hours in the cool basement checking out each others toys. In the evening after dinner they would all come running back outside and play "mother may I" and "red light green light" until the mom's were calling them in at dark (sometimes as late as 9pm!). My supershy son absolutely came out of his shell and never hesitated to run outside and engage with the neighbors even when I had to stay in with my napping toddler. When we had to move it was a sad sad day for all of us. Having loads of kids around was THE best, I wish every day was like that!



answers from Washington DC on

Moving house with hopes of finding other kids in the immediate neighborhood is assuming that those kids would be the right ages and temperaments for your kids to play with. While NY Mom found lots of kis who became long time friends with her kids, you have to know that there is zero guarantee that you would find neighbor kids who will mesh well with your own. You could move next door to your child's best buddy from school and discover in three months that the kids no longer even talk much to each other.

As your kids get older you'll find that they make most of their friends at school without any regard for where the other kids live, so you will be asked to shuttle them to their friends' homes whether they're one block away or 15 minutes away.

And finally, if you move locations, you must look very carefully at what schools your kids will attend -- not just the elementary schools but the middle and high schools they would attend if they live in that area. That's more important in the long run than moving with hopes of sidewalks and local pals to play with.

If you move, do it for the space and the schools and the safety of the neighborhood. If there are good schools and a safe environment, other families with kids may well follow.


answers from Dayton on

Stay put, stay put, stay put!!! Lol.
I lived in a rural old farmhouse w/ 100's of acres behind it when I was 17-22.
I loved it! I wish we still had it for my kids.

My DH and I bought a starter home in what seemed a nice little neighborhood. Oh boy. We have had some really nice neighbors, and we have had some really horrid neighbors.

There are lots of kids in the neighborhood, but none nearby that are my kids age. Or gender-and she's old enough to care.
The posted speed on the streets is 25. But the average is 35...on a street where kids are running around (w/o watching) and tons of cars are parked on the street.
I would never allow my kids outside w/o being out there myself.
We have sex offenders in our neighborhood and even if we didn't I would not be lulled into a false sense of security.
The kids next door are disrespectful of us and our property-even after the issue has been addressed. The mom hates me. Lol. When they are outside they always seem to gravitate to our yard and vehicles-DH and I find ourselves standing at the window just to make sure no damage is done.
If my kids are outside-we are at a park.

Blah. All this is making me miss our old, freezing cold, farmhouse.

It sounds like you have a nice set up. Living in a neighborhood is like playing Russian roulette-w/ your sanity. ;)

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