DURBAN – All parents want their children to grow up in healthy, happy surrounds where they can safely visit friends, go to the park and walk to school or the shops, but it has become increasingly difficult to find such an environment in an age of rapid urbanisation and mixed-used developments that can very quickly change the character of a whole neighbourhood.
This is one of the main reasons why so many parents are choosing to live in gated estates and secure complexes these days, but what about those who can’t afford to live in an estate, or those who want their children to have garden space and the pets which are often not allowed in Sectional Title complexes?
Fortunately, said Berry Everitt, Chief Executive of the Chas Everitt International property group, there are still many other options, especially for parents who are prepared to do some homework and seek the advice of a qualified and experienced estate agent before deciding where to settle their family for what could well be the next 10 or 20 years.
"For example, once you’ve identified some areas that you think might be suitable, you should make a point of also visiting them at night and over weekends before you even look at any homes there. What if the main road becomes a hot-rod track on Friday nights, or the local pizzeria morphs into an unruly action bar on Saturday afternoons? And you certainly wouldn’t want to live in an area where the local teenagers have nothing better to do than spray graffiti on all the garden walls," said Everitt.
Next, he said that, you need to think about whether the area itself is generally clean and well-maintained. Cracked pavements, litter and overgrown parks are usually signs of a neighbourhood in decline and probably not that great for children to live in.