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When looking for somewhere to raise a family, there can be a lot of pressure to make sure everything about the city you choose is perfect! From great public schools and family-friendly activities to affordability and low crime rates, we want to help you make the right choice. Here are our thoughts on what makes the best family-friendly cities.

aerial view of Babcock Ranch

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Affordable Living

Affordability in Comparison to Other U.S. Cities

Whether you are comparing the cost of living to other U.S. cities or just to Florida, Southwest Florida is a strong competitor in its availability of affordable housing. For example, to move from San Francisco to Fort Myers would decrease your cost of living by 64.3% and housing costs an average of 84.9% less! For a Florida to Florida comparison, housing costs 460.8% more in Palm Beach than Fort Myers.

If you would like to do more research, housing costs for South Florida can be found on the census bureau website.

Homes for Any Budget and Any Family Size

It’s important that your new home fits the needs of your growing family, without breaking your budget. Whether you need a 5-bedroom single-family home or are just looking for a cozy condo, we can help you narrow down your search to the type of home that’s right for you.

For as low as $230,000 you can buy a range of home types from condominiums and twin villas to coach and single-family homes.

At Babcock Ranch, we have options ranging from 1,000 square feet to 5,000 square feet and homes with between 2-6 bedrooms.

Cutting Down Costs with Sustainable Living

Sustainability isn’t at an added premium; it actually costs less. The economic upsides to buying a sustainable home include:

  • Lower water bills because reclaimed water is used for irrigation and WaterSense® compliant fixtures in your home lead to less water waste.
  • Energy-saving lighting and appliances, programmable thermostats, efficient heating, and cooling equipment, and high-performance windows and insulation lower the cost to heat and cool your home.
  • Access to alternative transportation options like walking trails and environmentally public transportation will lower your vehicle costs.
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Low Crime Rate

No parent should ever have to worry about their child walking home from school or playing basketball at the neighborhood park. Likewise, you should feel comfortable taking a stroll at any time of day or night in your neighborhood or leaving your car unlocked outside the house.

Unfortunately, we know not every county in Florida has low crime rates. In 2019 in Miami Dade County there were over 13,000 cases of violent crime and just under 87,000 cases of property crime. However, that doesn’t mean all of Florida is a bastion of crime. In 2019, Charlotte county had less than 370 violent crimes and under 2,200 property crimes. That puts Charlotte County at about 99% less violent crime than Miami and 97% less property crime.

In Charlotte County, you can feel safe at any time of day or night regardless of your age, gender, or reason for being out and about, especially in gated neighborhoods.

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Superb School Districts

For families moving to a new community, one of the first things to look at is schools! According to niche.com, Charlotte County is in the top 15 school districts in Florida and in the top 5 for safest school districts.

Babcock Neighborhood School (BNS) is working to bring Charlotte County even closer to the top of the pack. In fact, the new public charter school earned an A from the state and is ranked in the top-performing elementary school in the county.

The K-8 school focuses on delivering best-in-class education and features a “STEAM” place-based, student-centered education built on active learning, collaboration, and community.

Teachers use the nationally acclaimed Summit Learning platform at the elementary and middle school levels. The software centralizes every student’s goals, drafts, tests, self-reflections, grades, and feedback from their teachers. This encourages students to take ownership of their own progress.

For younger children, Bloom Academy at Babcock Ranch offers a tailored learning curriculum for each child, from infants to pre-kindergarten age children. Bloom wants you to feel comfortable knowing your child is loved, and carefully looked after each day. That’s why teachers are trained in Florida state standards for kindergarten readiness and have lesson plans and periodic assessments to help guide growth and development.

The schools are public charter schools open to all students eligible to attend Charlotte County Schools.

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A Wealth of Extra-Curricular Activities

a woman is going for a run on a trail near the welcome bridge

Whether your child is an avid soccer player or a competitive runner, it’s important that your community offers the extra-curricular activities your child is looking for to thrive. Through school, your child will be afforded many different opportunities, but what about during the summer?

Babcock Ranch also offers summer soccer camp, basketball camp, and fall flag football camp. All camps are co-ed and open to grades K-6. At youth soccer camps, kids can learn the fundamentals of the game and enjoy scrimmage games. They also receive a Dri Fit Shirt when they register and both residents and non-residents are welcome!

Some sports events are also open to parents as well as kids! The “Fall into Fitness” 5k race brings all the runners in the family!

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Single-Family Homes

Family-friendly cities offer so many activities, that you can never claim to be bored! Here at Babcock Ranch, we offer unlimited activities for you and your family who are always on the move.

Events

During the fall you can find the Pumpkin Patch open every day and on Halloween, the community gets together for a “Trunk or Treat” celebration. Also in October, the “Classic Car Cruise In” fills Founder’s Square with music, prizes, giveaways, and great food and drink.

At the Babcock Ranch Art Show, watercolor, oil and acrylic painting, sculpture, photography, metalwork, jewelry, ceramics, and wood and fiber art will all be on display! Hungry? Try one of Southwest Florida’s favorite food trucks stationed along Lake Babcock Drive!

Looking for other events and activities? Check out our event’s calendar!

Swamp Buggy Eco-Tour

The 90-minute Swamp Buggy Tours is one of the only chances you’ll get to see an elusive Florida panther in nature!

And regardless of whether you see a panther or not, you are sure to spot plenty of other wildlife as you wander through Florida’s ecosystems! What might you see? Turkeys, caracara, softshell turtles, magnificent osprey, Sandhill cranes, and fox squirrels – just to name a few!

And you’ll walk away with more than just wildlife knowledge. The eco-tour also offers insights into the history of the Crescent B Ranch, a working cattle ranch with over 14,000 acres of pastureland.

Walking Tours

If you’d rather explore the ranch on foot, we have just the tour for you! This no-cost tour will take you through the wet flatwoods habitats in the palmetto prairie. During the 1 ⅛ mile adventure, you’ll see a variety of birds such as red-cockade woodpeckers, sandhill cranes, and swallow-tailed kites.

Trails

When complete, we will have more than 50 miles of trails for you to explore on foot or bike! You can rent a bike at the Zagster bike share stations using an app on your smartphone. If you choose to explore by bike, just make sure you stay in your designated bike lane.

Lake Activities

You can catch and release fish (including bass, gar, and tilapia) in any of the community lakes! To get a permit and for more information visit Curry Creek Outfitters.

You can also rent lake toys at Curry Creek Outfitters as well. There are no gas motors permitted on the lake but feel free to take out a canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or even a small sailboat!

Recreational Facilities

Jack Peeples Park offers tennis courts, pickleball courts, a basketball court, and a multipurpose field. We hope to also add a swimming pool and baseball field soon! Members also have access to the Lee Health Healthy Life Center at Founder’s Square, which features an outdoor pool.

Community Gardens

Pocket parks throughout the community are available for residents to rent a plot of land to garden.

Playgrounds

Jack Peeples Park offers a giant swing, zipline, climbing area, and more! Soon the park will also have grills and a firepit!

Libraries

Babcock Ranch is home to three “Little Free Library” locations. The book exchange system is designed to build a sense of community with the principle “take a book, share a book.” These little libraries are available thanks to one of Babcock Ranch’s youngest residents, Emme Lamb!

view of the sunrise at Babcock Ranch

Raising Your Family in Babcock Ranch

So where can you find an affordable home with a low crime rate, stellar schools, extra-curricular activities, and a myriad of attractions and events? There is no better place than Babcock Ranch!

Babcock Ranch would love to have you join our family-friendly and growing community. If you are interested in learning more about our culture, homes, or amenities, give us a call or learn more on our website. We can’t wait to have you visit our family-friendly community in person!