Today’s post is contributed by fellow blogger, Jennifer Riner from Zillow. She offers us some great tips I really appreciate as a renting, urban parent of young children!
In the past, quaint, quiet neighborhoods were the archetypal settings for growing families. Cities house many young professionals, most of whom don’t have families of their own quite yet. These days, however, more parents are choosing metro regions to raise their kids. Many families also opt to rent versus buy, often for financial reasons or the conveniences of living in urban settings. Regardless of motives, living in high rises with kids can be challenging. Between noise complaints and lack of private outdoor spaces, apartments lack the communal feel that suburban neighborhoods emanate.
To combat traditional apartment shortcomings, lease-holding parents should keep the following tips in mind.
Kids need to practice increased caution when living in multi-family properties. While they may feel comfortable running around common areas without parental supervision, neighbors are still strangers and should be treated as such. Make sure young children know it’s unsafe to enter apartment facilities without accompanying adults.
Attend Communal Events
Finding nearby playdates in apartment complexes can be difficult for recent transplants. Use neighborhood events, such as movies in the park, local parades and block parties as opportunities to mingle with fellow parents. Finding other children around the same age is not only beneficial for socialization, but making friends with local parents can pay off as last-minute babysitting resources.
Find Local Parks
Kids need outdoor playtime, and promoting sufficient exercise without backyard space is difficult. Visit local parks at least a few times a week so kids aren’t forced inside on the weekends. The fresh air and workouts are ideal and parks are perfect for meeting new friends, which is especially beneficial for renters looking to get acclimated to new neighborhoods.
Establish Quiet Hours
One of the biggest drawbacks of living in apartment complexes is the noise. While unavoidable, it can be kept down to a minimum, especially to prevent neighbors’ complaints and potential penalties. Establish quiet hours for the kids, even on weekends. Purchase quality headphones so pre-teens aren’t tempted to blast their music through loud speakers. Finally, make rules for kids to be quiet when walking down hallways and travelling in elevators.
Socialize with the Neighbors
Stay connected with fellow residents to prevent complaints about inevitable kid drama. Parents with newborns should alert their neighbors, or send gift baskets with ear plugs and preemptive apologies. These small gestures show respect and concern for the well-being of surrounding tenants, and they are less likely to become irritated when kids aren’t on their best behavior. At the same time, this isn’t an excuse for rudeness – make sure to always teach and encourage respectful conduct, no matter how forgiving the neighbors are about noise.
Keep the aforementioned tips in mind when searching for rental properties with young children. Renters should shop for properties where they’ll have the most luck, as these tips are only a portion of the rental success equation. For instance, make sure potential apartments have parks within walking distance to better the chances of actually getting that quality fresh air time.