Just the right place for kids

Choosing a home that takes into account the needs of your little ones is no child's play. Buying a property close to your kids' school isn't enough.

Just the right place for kids

Buying or renting a house is a long-term decision and settling for a good locality is critical, especially when there are kids in the family. Deciding on a home in an expensive city like Bengaluru isn’t an easy job. More often than not, the realty rates and cost of living end up being the key factors while zeroing in on a home.

However, in a crowded city, our homes are the only place where the tiny tots can find some solace and space for their shenanigans. There are so many factors to keep in mind when you are out on the lookout for a homely abode that is perfect for your
little ones – proximity to schools, parks, open grounds, daycare centres and so on.

Child-friendly locales
Areas like Jayanagar and JP Nagar are primarily residential. Interspersed with ample parks and playgrounds, their clean, green and well-planned layouts makes them highly viable for families to raise their kids. Moreover, optimal noise levels and connectivity to other parts of the city are just added perks.

Koramangala and Indiranagar are more upbeat, commercial and offer entertainment options like malls, gaming zones, restaurants and the like. Albeit high on rents and a little more densely populated, these are centrally located and are among the most sought-after areas. While places like Whitefield and Sarjapur Road are booming - owing to IT success - and offer world-class facilities, HSR Layout and Marathahalli are good options for families, too. Banashankari and Malleswaram are other child-friendly zones, being some of the oldest developed areas in the city.

Chances are, wherever you settle down, there would be a park or playground in the vicinity. Most international schools are located on the outskirts, while there are some reputed schools like Bishop Cotton and St. Joseph’s within the city precincts.

Though high in demand amongst single working professionals and college students, getting a property in Bengaluru will specifically be tricky if kids are the focus of attention. Some of the areas (even prime ones like Koramangala and Indiranagar) can pose water problems, while travel distances coupled with congested traffic zones can create time issues.

With so many things to keep in mind, home buying can turn into quite an ordeal. Here are some guidelines to help you
decide on the right home:

* Check the distance from home to school. Although most schools have pick up and drop facilities, you don’t want to tire out the kids because of the traffic nightmares in the city.

* Look out for daycare facilities for smaller kids, particularly, if both the parents are working.

* Availability of well-maintained and safe playgrounds, gardens and parks are a must. Fortunately, the city has many, but avoid desolated/under-maintained areas.

* Check whether there is enough space for the kids to walk, cycle or skate around the property.

* Analyse the proximity to a religious institution. For religiously-inclined parents, this is rather important. Moreover, having a place of worship in the locality can add to the serenity of the area.

* Check for hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities. Right from the pharmacy to reputed hospitals, one ought to check availability of emergency facilities in the proposed area.

* Thoroughly analyse your neighbours and neighbourhood. Quite often, kids get  highly influenced by the friends they make, houses they visit and environment they grow up in. Make sure you choose a locality that consists of like-minded people. However, diversity of population in terms of language, caste, culture would be
preferable for a holistic growth.  * Be on the lookout for entertainment avenues like theatres, shopping arcades and malls. Weekends with the kids turn out to be less tiring and more fun, when these recreational options are nearby.

* Most important of all, choose a locality that is crime-free. Like every other metro, the rate of crime is slowly accelerating in this city, too. Opting for a traditionally residential area, with alert and friendly neighbours would reduce safety risks considerably.

With the above checklist, one should be able to shortlist a good locality to settle down with family. Compared to other metros like Mumbai and Delhi, the comfort of living in Bengaluru is unmatched, especially buttressed by its weather’. Choose wisely, after all, investing in the perfect abode for your precious family is no child’s play.
(The author is executive director, Housing.com)

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