“Congratulations! It’s a …” whether it’s a boy a girl, one thing is for certain – your family just got a little bigger, which means your apartment or home just got a lot smaller, especially if this isn’t your first child. When the joy of a new addition settles down, you may consider upgrading to a larger home to better accommodate your growing family.
If you’re ready to upgrade to a new home that better fits your growing family, be sure you:
Choose a neighborhood that is safe for kids.
First, check the safety of the neighborhood that you’re looking for your next home. Trulia.com a great tool which overlays crime information directly onto the map of any neighborhood. You can visit Neighborhood Scout or Family Watchdog for more information. . There are also visual clues as to the safety of a neighborhood for kids. Take a drive through your desired neighborhood and look for ‘children at play’ caution signs and indications of children being active outside, like swings, bikes and basketball hoops. And, of course, look for actual kids playing. Driving through at the time of day between school letting out and dinnertime is the best time to do this.
Choose a neighborhood with good schools.
Nearby schools are the next thing to look for. Research the closest schools and learn about their reputations. Make sure you are looking at schools that are zoned for your potential home. Also, check the route your children will have to walk to get home or where their bus stop will be. If either make you uncomfortable, the home might not be in the right place.
Choose a neighborhood with kid-friendly recreation.
As your kids get older, they are also going to need places to let loose all of that youthful energy! Look for a home in a neighborhood with parks, public pools and recreation centers, especially those that do not need to be reached by crossing a busy road. We can include your backyard here for recreation as well. Consider whether it is large enough for play. Also, if it is already fenced in, it could save you an immediate expense.
Choose a home close to your job.
If your commute is too long, you could miss important times for bonding and togetherness, like bath time for little ones, homework time for older ones, and even family dinner. Plus, a home close to your job means that you can quickly come to their aid in case of emergencies rather than relying on a neighbor. LongandFoster.com has another useful map tool that covers commute times. Keeping your home close to your job allows you to really be a part of your children’s lives, which means you’ll never miss a second of valuable family time!
Choose the right amount of bedrooms.
Eventually, your kids won’t want bunk beds anymore. Even the closest siblings grow into their own separate people and want a space to call their own. It’s usually a good idea to choose a home with the amount of bedrooms that will equal the number of children you have or want to have. Don’t rely on possibly converting that garage or unfinished basement into a room in the future. You can’t predict what will happen down the line, and when that time to convert a room comes, you may not the have the funds.
Don’t forget the importance of the kitchen.
The kitchen is making a comeback as the family center of the home with parents emphasizing the importance of fresh, healthy foods. And, if your kitchen table is snug when the kids are young, imagine the kitchen table when the kids get bigger. If you don’t want to bump elbows and knees while eating, you may want to consider a home with a larger kitchen. Also, consider whether or not your kitchen has an unobstructed view of the room where your children will most likely relax and play. This will help you breathe easier knowing you have them in your peripheral vision. It’ll also help you concentrate on cooking, so you don’t burn yourself. Ouch!
Storage space. Storage space. Storage space.
You and your growing family will accumulate more and larger stuff. Little tricycles become 21-speed mountains bikes. One tiny Little League bat and a few balls become multiple full-sized, aluminum bats and buckets of balls. You and your spouse may get into fitness and need to store a bulky elliptical machine. Cabinets become filled with everyone’s favorite snacks, catering to very different tastes. The list goes on and on. Perhaps the most important factor for making sure your home grows with your family is simply adequate closets, cabinets and additional storage spaces.
Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to make a better decision when choosing the right home for your growing family.
If you’re ready to upgrade into a more suitable family home, contact the experts at Creig Northrop today!