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#1 of 25 Old 03-27-2007, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's a noble adventure being a student and a parent but the money's definitely hard to come by. I can't be sure about all areas, but houses are only getting more expensive here... I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on rearing children in an apartment as opposed to a house. Does it affect the kinds of friends that kids will make...? Does anyone have any advice on things to consider? I found a page from a place in Arizona offering a small guide on apartment living with children that mentioned an interesting point about playgrounds being a good indicator of kid-friendly areas. I'd be keen to hear if anyone else has any helpful ideas though.
Many thanks in advance!
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#2 of 25 Old 03-27-2007, 09:48 PM
 
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I don't think there's anything wrong with kids growing up in apartments... our children will likely live in apartments for a good many years yet, and depending on my career track will potentially ALWAYS live in rented housing because of my (hopefully!) highly-mobile career.

We haven't had any problems so far... we've always chosen complexes with plenty of space for all of us, and which have a playground at the very least. Our next apartment home has a playground, greenspace for free play, a pool and indoor play space for rainy days -- FAR cooler things than we'd have if we were living in a single-family home! We also try to stay close to libraries, community centers and things of that nature. Landlords have been happy to have us because we're settled and long-term, we're not likely to be moving every 6 months like some of the college kids around here. And honestly, even though toddlers can be messy they've got nothing on big dogs with lazy owners, you know?

As far as friends, I don't see how it would be a big impact. Your children are likely to still meet people at playgrounds, playgroups, activities and through school, same as any other kid.

The big problem we see, at least in the US, is that once you get above needing 3 bedrooms you'll have a tough time finding apartment rentals that have enough space for your whole family and may have to look into renting houses, which I've found to be a bit dodgier -- harder to find a place that is well-maintained, you often have absentee landlords and maintenence companies to work with, and you have to worry about the landlord selling the property out from under you.

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#3 of 25 Old 03-27-2007, 09:50 PM
 
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Im also very interested in finding out more about this topic. I am currently try to get preggers, and I live in an apartment. Its been on my mind A LOT lately. For instance, you cant really paint a nursery and put up cute borders and things in an apartment. Does anyone have anny suggestions for apartment nurserys?

As for just living in a apartment, I say as long as it is SAFE and CLEAN, then I dont see anything wrong with it. Any many ways it has advantages that living in a house doesnt. You may not have a yard of your own, but you could have a pool and playground to use for free. Also your kids may be more socialized, because these of the communty pool and playground areas. You may even luck out and meet a family or two that you become close enough to that you can tag team with baby sitting!! Now-a-days apartment are actually becoming a point of convienent and even FINE living!! I love my apartment and all the amenties, also not having to worry about a yard to keep up with or repairs. Its also very safe because the complex takes care of changing out fire extinguishers and alarms every year and things along that line. Oh, and we also have a volunteer policeman living in the complex whose number we have in case of emergencies.

Let me know if there is anything else I can tell you! And I would love everyone elses ideas and opinions!!!
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#4 of 25 Old 03-27-2007, 09:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Belleweather View Post
As far as friends, I don't see how it would be a big impact. Your children are likely to still meet people at playgrounds, playgroups, activities and through school, same as any other kid.
I just wanted to add to this...though you are of course likely to meet tons of people at playgrounds and things, the people you meet at your apatrment's playground areas you will probably be likely to see on a regular basis, there for you can make friends easier with the kids, and their parents! Especially if youre a parent to kids that are not yet school-aged this could be helpful. It's a little bit easier to meet people there than you would at say a public playground where people come and go...
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#5 of 25 Old 03-27-2007, 10:40 PM
 
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We live in an small apartment and it has a lot of advantages for my 22 mo. old son. We were able to live very close to my DH's work, so he can drop by or we can for lunch. And since we didn't shell out too much for rent, I can afford to be at home when I'm not doing schoolwork.

We live in a big student area, to avoid late night noise etc. We chose an apartment that is the top-floor of an office buikding. The people who work here say hi and chat to my DS on our way in and out. It is like a mini neighborhood for him.

The only thing I would note is how crucial it has been for us to be quite close to a good park, so he can et out and really climb, etc. oh, and also I would chose a place with a space where you could do messy kids stuff without fretting too much. I've been afraid to watercolor or fingerpaint as we have a immaculate white carpet. Good Luck!
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#6 of 25 Old 03-27-2007, 11:42 PM
 
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I grew up in a very small apartment and it was the happiest time of my life. We had a pool area and an entire enclosed courtyard where we could just run willy nilly. I remember pitying kids in houses because I was able to unite with so manykids at once, go in the pool and run all around.

I love having my son in our apartment complex. It's plenty enough big, we have two huge pool areas, lots of beautiful landscaping, and lots of places for him to just run around.
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#7 of 25 Old 03-28-2007, 12:25 AM
 
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If you're in school--and I'm sure you've looked into this but just in case you haven't--does your school have family student housing apartments? We've lived in them for several years and it's been a wonderful experience. If you have any questions, feel free to pm me.
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#8 of 25 Old 03-28-2007, 02:58 AM
 
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We lived in an apartment complex until last year and the complex we lived in had a gated courtyard in the middle. There were 3 other children the same age as my daughter that also lived there so often times the children would play together in that area and I was able to make friends with the moms too. It was very nice! Now we live in a townhouse where their are no children near us. So for our experience it was easier for our child to make friends at the apartment than it has been in a private neighborhood home.
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#9 of 25 Old 03-28-2007, 10:47 AM
 
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In some parts of the country, apartment living (or cliff-dwelling, hee hee) is the norm, even for those w/high incomes! Manhattan, for instance.

In any event, we live in an apartment. We just bought it and plan to live here for a LONG time. I can't see at all why it would be bad. In fact, I love that I don't have to maintain a roof/windows/yard/driveway/etc. I can spend that time w/my kids instead!

Are there parks in your community? We have 3 w/in walking distance. I figure those are my kids backyards!

Our complex is a very nice community. THere are some other little kids, and neighbors help out MUCH more than in single house burbs, IMO.

As for the nursery question someone else asked. I used to be a landlady. I would have let people paint, if they wanted to. If it were a dark color, I would have had them paint over it, or taken a bit out of the deposit when they moved out. Ask your landlord about what you might be able to do. You may be surprised. She may let you do some alterations so long as they don't damage and/or you agree to reverse them when you leave.
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#10 of 25 Old 03-28-2007, 11:12 AM
 
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We also own an apartment. We are staying in NYC now for a few months in another apartment. Both places have playgrounds within minutes. We also have neighbors down the hall, young families, with kids the same age as ours. You can do a quick playdate and not worry the baby is sleeping or whatever. Plus it can be a great support. My aparmtent in Israel the neighbor across the hall & I combine our kids all the tiem for some mommy time, or if we need help. Heck her dh even slept in my guest room when I went into labor at 9pm and my twins were already sleeping. I ditto finding teh right place with young families. We bought a 4 bedroom apartment in Israel with a balcony and it's all I think we will ever need.

As for the question above about painting the nursery, I think it depends on the company. My brother rents an apartment in Queens and he was allowed to paint. It depends on your lease. You also might be able to talk to the manager if you have been there a while and are planning on staying for a bit. They may be willign to let you paint if you agree to repaint white before you leave.

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#11 of 25 Old 03-28-2007, 02:48 PM
 
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Thanks for the ideas on painting! I will be sure to check in with the managers about that!
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#12 of 25 Old 03-28-2007, 09:08 PM
 
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We actually have painted our apartmnent and got compliments from the landlord and the apriaser when they were here this morning. Definately something to talk to your apartment manager about -- originally, they wanted us to paint back to white when we moved out, but since the law here requires that they paint the whole place when new tenants move in, we just agreed to chose colors that won't require more than one layer of paint. Or living room is perhaps a bit dark, so we'll probably prime before we leave.

The other thing that I really like about living in an apartment is that you have a lot more control over where you live and how much you pay. If your family has a financial setback you can consider moving to a cheaper place without the stress of selling a house. You can move for the best schools for your kid without having to stress about property values and taxes. And, if you're like us and you tend to travel a lot or for long periods you can put your belongings in storage an not pay rent while you're travelling.

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#13 of 25 Old 03-30-2007, 10:22 PM
 
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Wow!! I wish I could find a co-op situation like that one...sounds so great!
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#14 of 25 Old 03-31-2007, 01:10 PM
 
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We are selling our house in the country to move to the city. We are really excited for our move.

We live in the country now with a large yard. Yes, my boys can play whenever they want. My dog can go outside without supervision. But, we don't have many friends at all. If you want to ride your bike you have to load it into a vehicle. For a family our size that means a big van. Then you have to drive to a park. It's not safe to ride your bike around here at all.

We are moving to a complex with close access to a bike trail, off leash dog park etc. We can bus, bike, and walk most places. My boys will be around more kids than they could ever be around here. Plus, they will be off all different cultural backgrounds.

We have lived in closer living areas before like apartments, cottages, and USCGS bases. It's been nice knowing all the neighbors and belonging.

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#15 of 25 Old 03-31-2007, 01:58 PM
 
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Another thought about the nursery. If the landlord won't allow you to paint, there are a lot of different borders you can buy that are essentially stickers you put on the wall. When it's time to go, you just peel them off with no damage. Add the right wall accents and I think you could do up a nice nursery that way without worrying about paint or pissing off the landlord.

K.
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#16 of 25 Old 04-01-2007, 12:19 PM
 
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Another thought about the nursery. If the landlord won't allow you to paint, there are a lot of different borders you can buy that are essentially stickers you put on the wall. When it's time to go, you just peel them off with no damage. Add the right wall accents and I think you could do up a nice nursery that way without worrying about paint or pissing off the landlord.

K.
Yea! I actually just found some like this on the net the other day and thought they were great! Thanks for the idea!!
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#17 of 25 Old 04-01-2007, 04:01 PM
 
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Ooooh... share the website? Pretty please?

Spending all of my money and time on this wild, wild life.
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#18 of 25 Old 04-01-2007, 06:04 PM
 
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Ooooh... share the website? Pretty please?

The wedsite where I found the pretty wall stickers first was www.pacifieronline.com and they are listed under the "nursery" section...I think they refer to them as "wall candy", but I also found them at several other site, but they were the same brand and same styles. They are really cute!!
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#19 of 25 Old 05-30-2007, 02:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought people might find this kid-friendly apartment guide helpful!

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#20 of 25 Old 05-30-2007, 11:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by denovagirl View Post
Im also very interested in finding out more about this topic. I am currently try to get preggers, and I live in an apartment. Its been on my mind A LOT lately. For instance, you cant really paint a nursery and put up cute borders and things in an apartment. Does anyone have anny suggestions for apartment nurserys?
How about some wall decals? This is what I'm planning to use in DS' room when I redecorate this summer. It appears that some are re-stickable and some not...

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#21 of 25 Old 05-30-2007, 02:43 PM
 
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ooo..thanks!
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#22 of 25 Old 05-30-2007, 08:39 PM
 
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We also own an apartment (co-op) in Brooklyn. Even though it is a one-bedroom, we plan to stay here for a while and have adjusted with DD accordingly. The apartment has a room that is supposed to function as a dining room - but it is DD's playroom and will eventually be her room. I love living in this apartment, and like a previous poster said, it is quite the norm in places like New York City. Co-ops are big on the east coast and on the west coast - but I think it is unusual in the middle states (I could be wrong). Since we are owners, we can do any non-structural changes we want with the apartment. At the time/place/era in which I grew up - people outside of major urban areas didn't live in apartments. Times have changed, however, and more and more people are buying or renting apartments/condos for the convenience and proximatey to services. Houses can be a lot of work...and can literally eat up all your time and money!

Even as a previous renters, however, we had good experiences with landlords and each landlord was very flexible with what we did in the way of decor/painting. I think most landlords would welcome improvements or changes - just so you return the apartment to the original condition (i.e. white walls, etc.) when you leave.

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#23 of 25 Old 05-30-2007, 08:42 PM
 
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I've only ever lived in an apartment.

We're really blessed, in that our complex has TONS of other kids for my kids to play with...

Honestly, I can't imagine trying to raise a family and care for my own house AND work and go to school. I have trouble just keeping up with my family and work and school responsibilities... and owning a house would just add so much more on top of that.
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#24 of 25 Old 05-30-2007, 08:42 PM
 
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Yea I agree with what CatsCradle said. I wish they had co-op apts here, thatd be perfect...
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#25 of 25 Old 05-30-2007, 08:44 PM
 
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It just stink that I have to rent...all that money added up pver the years would have allowed me to buy more than house! Garrr...
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