When you have kids (or are planning to) and you are shopping for a home, your list of things is beginning to feel a little overwhelming for the things that you are looking for in your dream home. To stay focused on the important things, without feeling bogged down by the home buying process, gaining clarity and focus on what you really want in a home, beyond the basics of location, budget, school district, and cost of living.The overall goal is to make your home an ideal fit for your family. You will want to consider these 10 important things when shopping for a home with kids.
Outside the Home
1. Regional weather conditions: Will you have to shovel snow in the winter? Are the walkways shaded in the summer, with plenty of trees surrounding the local neighborhood.
2. Driveway length and width: Is the driveway too narrow, or too wide?
3. Street Parking: Street Parking is usually not an issue in the suburbs or rural areas, but some areas have rules about parking on the side of the road at night.
4. Safety in your neighborhood: How far away are you from the local police station, fire station, hospital, and urgent care facility? How many sexual offenders if any live in your neighborhood or surrounding areas? What are the rules for fencing in pets and animals in your neighborhood?
5. School District: Depending on the school district that you decide to live in, it can help raise the value of your home during resale by being in a top rated school district.
Inside the Home
1. Indoor Outdoor Flow: The ease with which you can move from indoor to outdoor living areas and back again through your home. Having an open kitchen with a view of your children in the backyard through generous windows, or sliding back doors, with a fenced in back yard, convenient laundry area, and kid safe bathrooms.
2. Size of rooms: What size would you like your master bedroom, bathrooms, living room, children’s bedroom, kitchen? Do you prefer an island or bar setting for children to work on their homework and other activities?
3. Carpeting in the home: Would you prefer darker or lighter carpeting throughout the home or hardwood floors throughout each living space? You may want to consider darker carpeting to avoid any noticeable stains, as your children grow and mature in the home.
4. Staircase steepness and length: If you are looking at homes with more than one level to pay close attention to staircases and railings, this is very important when you have small children. You may need to purchase a child safety gate for your staircase, especially when your children move from baby to toddler stages.
5. Built-in-Storage: Built-in-storage means more places to stash toys, clothes, homework projects, without worrying about keeping everything in your garage area or overcrowding your children’s bedroom or attic. Basically, you are looking for built-in shelving in the living room or family room with closed cabinets.
What things are a necessity for you when shopping for a home with kids?