How to find the ideal home when starting or growing a family
Your needs regarding your home will change regardless of whether you're having your first child or third. They will change even if you want to get a pet. While a single-bedroom apartment was a perfect housing solution for a young couple or a single person embarking on the journey of adulthood, it is hardly a place where one or more kids can grow. And significant life changes such as having kids are the principal reason why young families decide to move. If you are just facing one such massive change and contemplating upsizing your residence, we have some tips to help you find the ideal home when starting or growing a family.
Decisions, decisions, decisions
Keep in mind that the decision to purchase a bigger and better new home is simultaneously exciting and stressful. After all, buying a house is one of the most significant financial transactions people face. In addition, a lot goes into this decision-making process. The entire next chapter of your life will be full of choices and decisions, and many of them have to do with your place of residence.
For example, you probably have a vision of what your kids' childhood should look like. Moreover, where they will go to school. Do you want to drive then to school or would you prefer to walk? Then there is also the budgetary issue. And you have to figure out how big of a home you really need. Do you want your children to share a bedroom? And how about a garden? Have you envisioned a treehouse and a majestic patio, or are you content with a more modest setting?
Set the budget
Before you can begin your quest for an ideal home for your growing family, you have to know how much house you can afford. Mind you - there is a huge difference between being able to buy a house and being able to afford it. So you have to know what you are getting into. Perhaps you will have enough funding to purchase a massive house with a beautiful garden in a fancy neighborhood. But remember, every property comes with maintenance costs, property taxes, home association fees, utilities, etc. Therefore, make sure your wallet can withstand that along with your monthly mortgage payments. Moreover, since you will be growing your family, don't forget that your kids' college tuition fees are that far away.
So, don't burden yourself with a considerable debt because you think you need extra space but don't have the budget to support it. Get your finances in order, see where you are standing, get pre-approved for a mortgage to see how big of a loan you can get, put everything on paper, and set your budget. Being realistic is critical. The goal is to purchase a home that will satisfy your need without putting you in financial distress.
Set your priorities
Thus far, all you know is that you need a bigger home. But besides an extra room or two or three, what else do you want from that house? Here, you need to create a list of features you want to have and a list of things that would be absolute deal-breakers. Then, set your priorities because your budget may not allow you to purchase a house that ticks all the boxes. However, it will likely allow you to buy a home that fulfills all the must-have requirements. Thus, think about the following:
- How many rooms do you need? Will you have a guest bedroom? Do you need a home office?
- How many bathrooms are necessary?
- Do you want an open floor plan?
- What kind of neighborhood do you prefer? Would you rather live in the city or the suburbs?
- What amenities do you need nearby? Consider the location of the good school, shopping facilities, parks, restaurants, etc.
- How long of a commute are you willing to accept?
- How big of a yard do you want?
- What other features do you deem essential? A laundry room, bathtubs, storage options, etc.
Once you have an image of what you want in your head, you should mark the features you are willing to give up and those you cannot live without.
Pick the location
We all know how critical location is when buying real estate. It is important in terms of investment and in terms of how safe the area is and how suitable it is for raising children. So, since you want to find the ideal home when starting or growing a family, you will want a safe neighborhood with all essential family-friendly amenities.
Furthermore, you may want to move to a different city altogether. If you realize that your current city cannot provide you with everything your family needs, you may want to expand your search and consider other cities. For example, San Antonio is perfect for families, as indicated by a significant number of families moving there. It is pretty affordable, and the housing market is favorable. Most importantly, it is very kid-friendly with excellent school districts and many universities and colleges. It doesn't lack amusement opportunities either. All of these are essential points to consider.
Once you have narrowed down your options, make sure to visit the neighborhoods and see what they are like. You may also want to drive there during workdays and at the weekend when more families with kids go outside. While you are there, look for indicators that it is a family-oriented neighborhood. Are there playgrounds, basketball hoops, swings, etc.? Also, check the recreation options like parks, sports centers, gyms, pools, and others. Finally, make sure to check the crime rate statistics.
Hire the necessary assistance
Finally, once you know what you are looking for and how big of a budget you have at your disposal, you can begin your search. However, it's highly advisable to hire a local real estate agent who can help you locate the home that is a perfect fit for you. They will ensure you don't overpay the property and guide you through the entire process, so you don't have to worry too much and waste energy.
Then, when the time comes, hire a reliable moving company to ease the process of relocation. If you already have kids, their help will be much appreciated. While you may think that you can do it yourself, be warned that such endeavors often turn costlier and more stressful than they need to be.
There is no way to separate home from family, so you want to do your best to find the ideal home when starting or growing a family. The crucial point is to think about the future and choose a home that will suit your need for years to come. To do so, you have to plan carefully, considering your current needs and any future needs and life changes. At the same time, you have to compare your wishes and needs against your financial power and determine your priorities. Then, with the help of a trustworthy professional, you can begin the house-hunt and enjoy the process too.
About the author
Alicia Mathison is a freelance blogger and a mother of three kids. While she was expecting the blessing number three, she and her husband decided it was time for an upgrade. Her personal experiences as a mom are the basis of most of her writing. In her free time, Alicia loves going to the gym or going for a run with their energetic Labrador mix.
Featured image: Brown Brick House Beside Trees · Free Stock Photo (pexels.com)