Should you buy a small home in one of the more expensive green neighbourhoods or a larger home in a slightly less than ideal setting?

It’s a common dilemma for any house hunter, but when you’re investing in property it’s important to consider the neighbourhood. And when it comes to neighbourhoods, the more trees and green parks, the better.

Yes, it may mean having to settle into a smaller home, but here are a few proven reasons to invest in a green neighbourhood rather than a bargain for a few extra square metres:

Green neighbourhoods could make kids smarter

Every parent wants to give their child the best start in life and the best start is from a tree-lined neighbourhood.

A University of California – Los Angeles study found that children living in a green neighbourhood have larger volumes of white and grey matter in certain areas of the brain, which benefits cognitive function.

WIN a R 2,000 Woolworths Voucher

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

Another study found that children with more greenery around their homes performed better in attention tests.

So what is it about green spaces that boost children’s brains?

Researchers believe that green spaces provide children with opportunities for psychological restoration while encouraging discovery, creativity, physical activity and socialising – all of which can positively influence brain development.

In addition, greener areas often have lower levels of noise and air pollution.

Green neighbourhoods make teens more agreeable

Teen angst isn’t going anywhere, but a study by the University of Southern California found teenagers living in neighbourhoods with more greenery showed significantly less aggressive behaviour than those living in neighbourhoods with less greenery.

Green neighbourhoods boost happiness and fight mental illness

A daily walk or run in a green neighbourhood is more than a good workout. A study by King’s College London linked seeing trees, hearing birdsong, seeing the sky, and feeling in contact with nature to higher levels of mental wellbeing.

According to the study, the positive benefits of exposure to nature, even in an urban setting, lasts hours later and are especially evident in impulsive individuals who generally have a greater risk of mental health issues.

Green neighbourhoods offer cleaner air

It’s obvious that the more trees and plants in a neighbourhood, the better the air quality.

While we often take it for granted, growing research points to the importance of air quality. Research has linked air pollution to a number of diseases and conditions, including asthmaautism, chronic kidney diseaseheart diseaseosteoporosis, and strokes. 

This list is growing, but regardless of the type of illness, a study from Aarhus University in Denmark found that an increase of pollution particles in the air of 10 micrograms per cubic metre can cut life expectancy by nine to 11 years.

So, what can you do if moving isn’t an option and your neighbourhood isn’t exactly green?

The answer is simple – start gardening.

Plant trees in your garden and along the verge outside your home. You could even rally the neighbours together to clean up and green up a nearby park.

Remember, no start is too small so, work on that balcony garden, window box or simply bring potted air-purifying plants into your home.

Sources have been hyperlinked in the text above 

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.