I wasn’t sure how many families my age would be nearby in South Hill. Many of the homes are sizeable, and have views. It's desirable, and the prices in the neighborhood reflect that. In the last 12 months, the average annual median sold price in South Hill is over $575,000—not exactly entry level for most young families.
The Columbia neighborhood tempted us because it’s known to be magical for children. Halloween is an epic event in Columbia. The elementary school has a great reputation, and we had good friends that lived there. At times, I second guessed our decision to go south during this super kid-centric phase of our lives, but now I’ve realized that it’s so easy to join the fun family-friendly events in any neighborhood in Bellingham. And once our oldest went to kindergarten, we met a whole bunch of families with young children that reside in the south end.
In fact, there are many great schools and many idyllic places to live with children in Bellingham. Since settling in here, we’ve had our kids enrolled in a few different preschools in a few different areas, so we’ve managed to meet families that live all over town in a variety of neighborhoods.
Like any community, there are pros and cons to each neighborhood and you have to figure out what’s most important to you.
If you can sacrifice on size, and love the charm of older homes, York or Sunnyland neighborhood might be a nice fit for you.
If having a large, flat chunk of land for a garden or swing set is important, the Birchwood neighborhood, known for its large lot sizes, might be a good place to start your search.
Love the lake? Try Geneva, or aforementioned Silver Beach, or head south to the Lake Samish area.
Want an International Baccalaureate program that offers instruction in a second language during your children's primary years? Wade King Elementary has it, so you'll want to focus on sections of Whatcom Falls neighborhood, and/or the Urban Growth Area near Yew Street and Lake Padden.
Want to run out your door to tons of trails? Whatcom Falls and Samish/Lake Padden areas also offer that.
I know—there are a ton of considerations. But I can tell you that you can’t really go wrong here. And that's not just realtor-speak, I promise. Bellingham is an awesome place to raise kids.
Finding a good real estate agent—someone in the same stage of life—is a good first step. Since moving to Bellingham, it has become my passion to help other people—families especially—integrate into this remarkable community that I now call home. Give me a call or send me an email so we can chat more!