So, you’ve made the decision to take the next step – you want to start a family. It’s time to sell the inner city flat and think about a more child-friendly abode.
There are a lot of things to consider when buying a house to meet your expanding needs. Here are some tips on how to find the perfect family home.
Location, Location, Location
We have heard the phrase a million times, but location really is the key, especially when you are looking for a family home.
When you have children, you want to ensure that your home is in an area with low crime rates, good schools and nurseries, and generally a safe and friendly place to live. Decide whether you want to be in the city or a country town.
If safety is a priority, look at areas such as Woodstock in Vermont, South Portland in Maine, or South Jordan in Utah.
These cities have low crime rates – South Jordan has a crime rate of 50% lower than the US average. If this appeals, check out homes for sale in South Jordan, Utah.
Walk around neighborhoods and get a feel for them. Shop in the local vicinity, or have a meal and chat with staff and customers and ask them about the area.
Being close to facilities such as shops, gyms, medical centers, and entertainment venues is probably high on families’ list of priorities.
You do not want to be isolated from medical facilities when you have young accident-prone children or if you are pregnant and need to have regular visits to a medical center.
A variety of shops, especially supermarkets, are essential for purchasing groceries and other supplies for your family.
Entertainment in the form of cinemas, bowling alleys, playgrounds, and concert halls are an excellent facility to have to enjoy family days out together.
Useful transport links to your work, schools, shops, and medical facilities are essential. If you are driving, you want the roads to be well-maintained, well lit, and safe – not too isolated for lone driving.
If you have a young child in a stroller or pram, it makes sense to have a house with a driveway or on-street parking outside the property as you don’t want to be pushing a baby and carrying armfuls of groceries when you have had to park your car a few blocks away.
For a similar reason, steer clear of houses with lots of steps up to them or a flat on the 4th floor of a building with no elevator!
Type of House
Once you have decided on the areas you like, it’s time to consider what type of house you would like. An old home can have charm and character. It may also have bigger rooms and backyard compared to new builds.
However, old properties may need a significant amount of expensive and time-consuming maintenance.
When you have a young family, do you wish to spend your free time fixing broken roof tiles or leaks instead of spending time with your loved ones? New builds are generally maintenance free but often lack curb appeal.
Another factor to consider is the layout of the home. Do you want a single-story residence or a townhouse?
A house that is all on one level is ideal for families with young children as you do not have the worry of your child falling down the stairs, and you don’t have to run up and downstairs all day, catering to your child’s every whim.
An open-plan layout is great too because you can keep an eye on your tot no matter which room you are in. You can cook dinner while your children watch tv in the lounge.
Look at the rooms and where they are situated. Is there a room suitable for a new baby near the master suite? How many bathrooms does it have? More than one bathroom is essential when you have a large family.
Children love baths, so find a place that has a tub as well as a shower. Does it have a good-sized laundry for all of the baby clothes you need to wash and dry?
A family with children usually has a lot of stuff such as baby equipment – strollers, high chairs, baths, cribs, car seats, Moses baskets, travel cots, and playpens – the list goes on.
As well as that, you have kids’ toys, Christmas decorations, suitcases, and bicycles. All of these things need to be stored, so look for a house with a garage or a large basement or loft area.
Perfect Family Home
Most couples move from a flat to a family home with a garden. Children love playing outside, and nothing is better for them than being out, having fun in the fresh air.
Look for a property with a good-sized backyard that is secure to prevent young children from easily escaping. A swimming pool is a lovely luxury to have and the ultimate dream for most kids but ensure that it has a safety fence around it, or at least the space to install one.
Maybe you would like to get a pet dog or some chickens. If so, find a backyard with room for a dog to run around.
An area with trees to climb, hang rope swings or build a sandbox would make the perfect child-friendly space. However, it’s not entirely about the children.
Is there space for you to entertain guests, have a barbecue, sunbathe? Is it peaceful and far away from busy traffic noise? Does it have the greenhouse or garden shed you have always wanted?
Or room for a vegetable patch to grow healthy food for your family.
Find a house that you and your partner like – a place that feels comfortable and that you want to grow old together in. Ensure it has the capacity to expand if your family does and adjusts to your needs as your family grows up.