If your family has recently undergone an expansion, you might be feeling short on space— especially if you live in an apartment or a smaller house. House hunting can be a tedious process in the first place, but when you add children to the mix, everything’s taken to a whole new level. Seeing as how raising kids already comes with too many obligations, we’ve created this list of essentials you need to have in mind to make finding a new home easier for you and the kiddos. Take a look at what you should pay attention to when buying a house with youngsters in tow.
What’s the location like?
You must have heard realtors saying how location is the most important thing when looking for a house – and the truth is, they’re right. The area in which a potential home is located is crucial in more ways than one. For starters, how far away is it from your job? How much time you’ll lose on the commute is something you need to carefully consider. Other than that, parents are also concerned with finding a house in a good school district.
Furthermore, you need to take into account the safety of the neighborhood. High crime rates are often a reason for low home prices. Before you start looking at potential houses, do some research into how dangerous certain areas of the town are, and do your best to avoid them. To keep your kids out of harm’s way, you can even look into the sex offender registry and ensure the neighborhood you’re interested in is free of individuals with such backgrounds.
How much space does it offer?
The size of the house is another factor to bear in mind. If your current place is too small, you can probably assess how much extra space you need. Do you need extra bedrooms and bathrooms? Is a bigger kitchen or living room necessary? To start you off, put everything you want from a home on paper to have a better overview. Then, decide on which items you are willing to compromise on.
Figure out how much square footage you need. The way the space is used is what plays a vital role here. It is possible to find a smaller home that has everything you need simply because of its layout? That house will be better for your budget, but you don’t want to sacrifice comfort and room to spread out. Probably the biggest problem you will have to deal with is storage space. So check out every home to see how much it can store and whether you can turn any areas into additional storage.
What does it cost?
In order to not get distracted by a certain property out of your financial capabilities, you need to set a budget for yourself. If you don’t stay within your limits, you might fall in love with the “perfect” house only to be devastated when you do the math and realize you can’t afford its high price tag. Save yourself the heartache and only look at houses you can afford.
In case you have to take out a loan, conduct proper research to find lenders that offer the lowest competitive interest rates. Set up a budget that includes your future mortgage along with all the other expenses that go with owning a home and having children.
Can it fit your future needs?
While finding a home that meets your current needs is great, you need to be planning for your future. Think about how the house will serve you for a longer period of time.
For instance, if your kids are still young and sharing a room, will you have any options to give them separate rooms when they become moody teenagers? When they start driving, will there be enough space for their car as well? Are any of your children starting college soon or planning on moving out? Do you want to have more kids? Is there enough space for you to build some new additions to the home? See which areas can be remodeled and repurposed.
Do your children like the house?
Last but not least, if your kids are old enough, you should definitely ask their opinion about the new house. Sure, they won’t have the last word, but they should feel like their feelings matter as well.
If they don’t like it, focus on certain aspects such as a big backyard or the new room they’ll get to decorate according to their wishes. Maybe they’ll find a new best friend in this neighborhood. Show them the bright side of the move, and they’ll get on board quickly.
While finding the home of your dreams might be a bit difficult now that you have kids, by keeping these five tips in mind, you should be able to do it. Remember: stay within your budget, consider the location and size of the home, plan for the future, and make your kids happy. Good luck!
About the Author
Bethany Seton is a recent economics graduate, working for the last two years as a community counselor. Before settling in an office again, she decided to follow her passion for writing and traveling. Currently, she travels with her laptop and writes for various blogs, hoping one day she will gather all the experience she gets in one book.