If you’re looking to buy your next home, it’s likely that you already have a number of items on your homebuying wish list. As a parent, that list may get a bit longer since children have many unique needs. Check out some of these suggestions for things to consider when buying a home if you have children.
Quality local schools are one of the most important things many parents look for when buying a home. In fact, it’s common for homebuyers with children to select a school system before choosing a neighborhood and a home. Internet resources such as GreatSchools.org and local resources like your real estate agent can help you find quality schools that fit your criteria and help guide your home search.
2. Neighborhood and amenities
Choosing a family-friendly neighborhood is important when you have children. Many parents look for neighborhoods that are home to families with similarly aged children and offer desirable qualities such as a safe environment, limited street traffic and easy access to parks, shopping, daycare and other amenities. Your agent can advise you on neighborhoods that may be the right fit, and simply driving, biking or walking around a community is a good way to get a feel for it.
3. Space and privacy
Both parents and children value a certain degree of space and privacy at home. Consider how much square footage and how many rooms you will need for your family, including bedrooms as well as kid-friendly spaces such as a playroom or family room. For greater privacy, look for homes with multiple levels, good separation between living and sleeping spaces and options for a home office, reading nook or hobby room.
Raising young children includes childproofing your home, and some homes are better suited for this than others. If this is a concern for your family, look for a home with rooms and staircases that can be easily gated, and think about any other home childproofing you may need to make after you move in. Selecting a home with durable and easy-to-clean finishes such as hardwood or tile is another worthwhile consideration.
5. Open or eat-in kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of a home, and many families want that heart to be open to the household. An open kitchen that adjoins a living space or is close to bedrooms or a playroom allows whoever’s preparing meals to easily check in on younger family members. Eat-in kitchens with built-in seating can also be useful homework and craft spaces.
6. Convenient laundry
Having easy access to your laundry room can make a huge difference when you have a family. Dirty clothes pile up quickly with children, and when your laundry room is easily accessible from the bedrooms, playroom or kitchen rather than on another level, it can make for shorter trips and an easier time keeping tabs on children.
7. Built-in storage
With children comes lots of extra stuff. Having built-in storage such as additional closets, shelves or cabinets can be incredibly helpful, and you won’t have to worry about buying freestanding storage solutions that may need to be secured to prevent children from toppling them over.
8. Outdoor space
Ample outdoor space can benefit a child’s creativity, mood and health. If a spacious outdoor area is on your homebuying wish list, consider a fenced-in space if you have young children (or pets) who are prone to wandering out of bounds.
Children and their needs are often determining factors for many homebuyers, and any home that doesn’t meet those requirements may not be the right one for you or your family. Make sure you know what your household needs as you’re searching for your next home to ensure it’s a happy, healthy and safe environment for your children. If you’re planning on buying a home, get in touch today to get “mortgage ready”!