When you have kids, everything changes. And as your kids grow, they begin to form their own thoughts and opinions. This makes buying a house even more challenging.
But with a little direction, you can find the perfect house for the entire family.
5 Tips for Buying the Right House With Kids
When it’s just you (or you and your spouse), buying a house is relatively easy. You decide what you want, look for a house that fits your wants and needs, and then put in an offer. Eventually, one of your offers will get accepted, and you’ll buy the house.
When you throw kids into the mix, you have a whole new set of wants, needs, and considerations. And in many regards, their needs take precedence over your own. So the question is, how can you buy a house that checks off all of the required boxes?
Though every family dynamic is different, here’s a good place to start:
- Find the Right Neighborhood
Start with the neighborhood – meaning both the macro neighborhood and the micro neighborhood.
The macro neighborhood is the part of town where you’re located. And as you know, every neighborhood is different. Take Upstate New York as an example. Buffalo is quite different than the East Aurora Neighborhood, for example. In the former, you’ll find big-city amenities and lots of young professionals. In East Aurora, you have a charming town with a little bit of everything, including a cute downtown, access to amenities, and close proximity to a 633-acre state park known as Knox Farm. Find a macro neighborhood that fits your family’s personality, lifestyle, and goals.
Then there’s the micro neighborhood, which is sort of the neighborhood within the neighborhood. If you’re in a residential area, this might be a traditional neighborhood with an entrance, HOA, and a neighborhood pool. If you’re in a city, it could be a street block. Either way, these people are going to be your neighbors. Choose a neighborhood that fits your family.
- Conder the Yard
When you’re an adult without kids, you view the yard as nothing more than a landscaping hassle. But once you have kids, it becomes an essential part of the package. Think about the yard and how much space there is for your kids to play. Is it safe? Is it private? Is there room for a playground? Be inquisitive as you analyze each property’s outdoor play areas.
- Think About Proximity
Location is obviously an integral factor, but it goes beyond real estate values. Think about the proximity to your child’s school, their friends, grandparents, etc. A house that’s closer to each of these will mean less driving and more opportunities to keep your child engaged and occupied.
- Account for Bedrooms
With more and more people working from home nowadays, it’s important to carefully scrutinize bedrooms in a growing family. A four-bedroom house might sound like a lot, but if one of them turns into an office, that leaves you with just three. And if you’re planning to grow your family, bedrooms quickly become scarce.
We’re not encouraging you to buy more house than you need, but do look three to five years down the road and plan accordingly. The last thing you want to do is move again in 12 months. It’s a financial and logistical pain.
- Take Indoor Play Areas Into Mind
Having a large yard for playing outside is great, but your kids can’t stay outside 24/7. Be mindful of indoor play areas and the layout of your home. It’s good to have some sort of separation between where kids are playing and where adults hang out. You won’t always be able to find the perfect layout, but again, pay attention to the details, and you’ll be much more satisfied with the result.
Make Your House a Home
At the end of the day, you probably aren’t going to end up with a house that makes everyone happy. From location and size to neighborhood, style, and budget, there are simply too many factors in play. But you have to be okay with the fact that it’s not perfect. The most important thing is that you create a warm and welcoming environment where your kids feel safe and supported. After all, that’s what truly makes a house a home.