Buying A Home Near A School - Is It Right For YOU?

Sometimes it is & sometimes it's not, but one thing's for sure, it tops the wishlist for most families that I meet! In theory it seems like a good idea, right? And I'm NOT saying it's a bad idea but there are a few realities to be aware of...

Drop off & Pick Up Times Can Be Chaotic - Try driving past a school near arrival or dismissal times to truly understand how chaotic! Between the crosswalks, cars trying to turn into the school from both directions (with typically only 1 lane in each direction) & just the sheer volume of vehicles, traffic backs up significantly! If your street is a feeder street off of where the school is located then it WILL take you a lot longer to get in & out of your neighbourhood during peak times.

Disregard For Property - If you live on the same street as the school you may have an increase in litter ending up on your property, not to mention your driveway used as a turn around...or worse, a place to park! I know from experience that this can cause increased wear & tear on the driveway. I see it every morning when I drive my son to school & I just shake my head at the lack of respect! You KNOW that if it was happening at their own homes they would be up in arms about it!

Solutions May Be Seasonal Only - Last fall the Municipality of Clarington revamped the road & sidewalk between Courtice SS & Courtice North PS. They widened the road by making these cut-outs (can't seem to find what the official term is) that created enough space for a vehicle to make a u-turn without using someone's driveway. I think they're fantastic & used them up until the snowbanks took over the space....thus making them only a seasonal solution.

Increased Vandalism & Petty Crime - You will find this problem not just around schools but in & around parks, forested areas & ravines as well...when these spaces are unoccupied (evenings, weekends, school breaks) it's the perfect place for kids to gather...get a bunch of bored kids together & it can sometimes lead to stupid pranks or making other poor choices in the neighbourhood.

Noise - And then there's the noise...the crossing guard's whistle, kids playing outside at recess, the school bell (which goes off several times a day), announcements over the PA system, fire drills etc...If you're a shift-worker trying to sleep during the day or someone who works from home then this alone can be a deal breaker!

As I said, I'm not saying it's a bad thing to want to be close to the school that your child(ren) will be attending, my own house backs on to an open field behind a school & it was a key selling feature for us! While we have experienced all of the things I've mentioned (except for the traffic issues), I've never regretted the location. 

One person's dream location may be another's nightmare so I hope that by highlighting some of these realities it will help you make a better informed decision on whether living near a school is right for YOUR family based on YOUR particular lifestyle, needs & circumstances!

Have a fabulous day!

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