Finding the perfect family home for your crew is often overwhelming. There are so many factors involved. How much can you afford? What do your kids need now? How much are the properties nearer to their school or your place of work? And of course, can you take care of a large yard? Do you have enough space for your dogs? It’s easy to make mistakes when choosing a family home.
When you see an affordable four-bedroom home, you want to grab the opportunity and make an offer. But that’s exactly why you need to take time in choosing a home. There are simply too many things involved in picking the perfect spot to park your family for years. You have to ask for an EICR for the properties you’re eyeing. Are they safe? Do you still have to worry about the electrical and plumbing works? If so, how much will that cost you?
You can’t wake up one day, decide you want to buy a family home, and choose one a week after. It takes months (and sometimes, even years) before you can pick the home you want. You need to think about the future, too. You don’t need so much space right now because you only have one kid, but what about in the future? What happens if you decide to expand your family and three kids are vying for the two extra bedrooms?
A lot of families are moving to the suburbs and smaller secondary cities because they can’t afford a larger space in urban areas. If you have kids, your home should have a secure outdoor space where your kids (and the dogs) can play. A small deck may not even cut it, especially if you have bigger kids who want a trampoline or a sandbox.
When choosing a house with a large backyard, check if you can see your kids playing there from inside the house. Although you can install a high fence, it’s still important that you can work inside the house while monitoring what your kids are doing outside. If you can’t afford that extra backyard space, check if the house is within walking distance to a park. That’s another option to consider.
Second Floors and Attics
Stairs can be a safety concern, especially if you have smaller kids. You can install a gate that will keep toddlers from climbing up and down the stairs, but it’s still something you have to think about. Where are the rooms located? Are they on the same floor? If the master bedroom is a long walk from the rest of the bedrooms, how will you go to your kids’ rooms to check on them in the middle of the night when someone had a nightmare? Should you run to the second or third floor if the master’s bedroom is on the first floor?
Open-floor layouts are ideal for families with small kids. You can keep an eye on your little tots better if there are no divisions or walls that separate the kitchen from the living and dining rooms. Do you plan on inviting your senior parents when they can no longer live alone? This is another consideration, too. It’s easier to take care of everyone if you have your eyes on the whole room.
Parking or Garage
Families need to have at least a one-car garage. If you have kids and it’s raining or snowing, you want them to get inside the house as fast and safe as they possibly can. But you also have shopping bags to carry and you’re cold, too. The garage is the safest way to get everyone and everything out of the car and into the house. You can install an automated garage door, so you don’t have to manually open it in the middle of a snowstorm.
If a garage isn’t possible, just make sure the driveway is safe from intruders and possible criminals. They can pounce on you while you unload or load the car. The parking lot or carport should be near the entrance to your house, so it’s easier for you to carry everything from the car to the house, and vice-versa.
People don’t always consider the amount of storage space a house has. But when you have kids, storage is everything. They come with a lot of stuff—Christmas costumes, toys, accessories, clothes, and shoes. If you don’t have storage space, their stuff will take up every available space in the living room, kitchen, dining room, and bedrooms.
Every family has different needs. Parents who work at home need a tiny home office, so the kids don’t bother them. If you love having friends and family over, you need an extra bedroom where they can stay. Sit down and determine what those needs are before you talk it over with your broker.