If your family is expanding, then it may be time to buy a new home. Whether you are giving up the condo or townhouse that served you well as a couple or looking for a home with more rooms, searching for a family-friendly home is a major step in your life as people and as parents.
Along with the features of the house, you also need to consider long-term factors like nearby schools and the other kids in the neighborhood. So before you start looking, read our guide to understand the six factors to take into consideration when buying a family-friendly home.
#1) Choose a Family-Friendly Layout
The layout of your house will be one of the biggest changes to your family-friendly home. There are dozens of things to consider when bringing kids into this space. For example:
- Is there a mudroom or corner for kids to take off their outdoor clothes and dirty boots?
- Can you clearly see the back and front yard from different places in the house so you can keep an eye on your kids?
- Are there sharp corners or stairs that could seriously injure a small child?
- Are there enough bathrooms that will provide privacy for your kids and teens?
- What safety features are built for the pool and nearby roadways?
Along with making these mental notes, you can look for homes that families currently live in. This way, you won’t need to try to turn a bachelor pad into a family home if it wasn’t built as one.
#2) Consider How Your Family Will Grow
If you are buying a family-friendly home because you’re expecting, think about your long-term plans for your family. Talk with your partner about how many kids you want, whether you only plan on having one or hope to fill up a house with multiple children. This is important for your home selection. A two-bedroom house might be enough for your family now, but it could become too small if you have another child or if everyone is sharing one bathroom.
Additionally, twins or siblings may be okay sharing a room when they are younger but may need their own space as they grow older. Look for houses that your family can fill up as you have kids and they grow. This will require a delicate balance between finding a big enough home and staying within the limits of what you can afford.
#3) Research the Nearby Schools
Even if you’re just moving into a home with an infant, it never hurts to look at the nearby school districts. Check out the elementary, middle, and high schools and see how they are rated in the area. Some counties have packed districts where students on neighboring streets would go to two different schools. You should also consider the length of time it will take to get to each school from your home.
If you don’t think you will be in the same house throughout your child’s K-12 career, then you may want to focus on elementary schools and find a home nearby. However, keep an eye out for the more advanced school levels in case you do stay in the same place.
#4) Look for Safe Streets
The traffic around the homes you’re considering can make or break your feelings of safety. If your home is on the main road, then you might worry about your child running into the street and putting themselves at risk. Even in a neighborhood, some cars will drive quickly around corners without looking first.
If you are considering buying a specific home, visit it multiple times over the course of a week. Make a note of the different traffic types during the morning commute, after school, at night, and on the weekends. This will help you learn about the safety of the streets.
#5) Get to Know Your Neighbors
Some areas are more family-friendly than others. If you move into a neighborhood with mostly young professionals, then your kids will have a harder time making friends. Moving into a predominantly older neighborhood can have similar problems, with your kids unable to find people to hang out with.
#6) Compare the Home to Others in the Neighborhood
If you’re looking for a large family-friendly home that you can grow into, consider the size of other homes on the block before you buy. Buying the largest home on the block can actually lower your property values while buying a smaller home can raise them. You may have a harder time selling your home if it is much larger than others in the area. Consider this as you commit to certain areas.
Ask Your Realtor® to Find Family-Friendly Homes
If you are moving to a new area and aren’t familiar with the schools and neighborhoods just yet, find a Realtor® who is. Work with someone who can limit the search to homes in good school districts that already accommodate families. This will make your house-hunting process easier and more effective.
To find a Realtor® who specializes in family-friendly homes, use the tool created by Effective Agents. Our system can connect you to a Realtor® who knows which neighborhoods and homes are best for your specific needs.