How to find the ideal home when starting or growing a family
Whether you expect your first or fifth child, you also need home-modifications. A one-sized condo that will make your adult life a perfect start will likely be unable to deal with the demands of children.
Modernization of your residence and family, from the kind of childhood you plan for your children to the size of your house and your budget, is a thrilling moment to also decide this next chapter of your life. Perhaps you imagine them playing in a large backyard or in an area where everyone goes to school.
You might imagine a family pet, brothers and sisters sharing bedrooms, or a big enough kitchen for a meeting place. Every dream should be a part of the buying process of your home.
Here are what you need to know when starting or growing a family to find your perfect new home.
Some couples buy a family home, while others wait until the bathroom lines are too long. Timing is all about the right decision for your family, there’ no right or wrong answer.
- Buying home before kids.
- Moving while you’re pregnant
- Moving after a new baby arrives
The next step is to know what you can afford. Consider your future when you set your price range. For instance, if you buy a home before you have children, decide whether both parents will keep working, or whether your prices will be based on one income rather than two.
You can to consider that your monthly budget will be affected if you have a new home. A larger home has high maintenance, with heating and cooling more square footage and taxes on property.
Determines how much equity you have that can be used to buy your new home if you have a current home for sale. Subtract your mortgage and your home equity balance from the estimated value to estimate the amount at closure. In what you can afford, this figure will play a large part.
Decide how you legally structure your property if you are not married to your partner and want to buy the place together. There are 3 main methods according to Nolo.com, a legal resource, while choices vary depending on your state.
- Sole ownership: Only one name is recorded in the deed in this arrangement. If only one person has a good credit, this is a good option. The downside is that if the relationship ends, the other person does not have legal ownership since his/her name is not recorded on the agreement.
- Joint tenancy arrangement: This option gives every individual half ownership of the property, similar to the way a married couple buys the home. Also, both parties must agree to sell and sign, or one person can purchase the other if the relationship ends.
- Tenants in common: This third option makes unfair ownership possible. One person, for example, owns 75%, and another 25%. This may be a right choice if financial contributions are uneven or if someone has a better credit score and can be accepted for a larger amount such as down payments or mortgage payments. It gives equity equal payments.
In order to protect each party’s rights, it is always important to consult with a real estate lawyer especially when buying homes without being married.
If you have the timing and numbers in place, it’s time to start looking. It may be exciting and a little overwhelming if you’re a first-time homebuyer so you have to create a family-based list of wishes and needs.
A 1-bedroom home will work for a while if you’re expecting your first child. In fact, it is recommended to keep your child’s bedside in the bedroom for the first six months by the American Academy of Pediatrics. But eventually, you want your room to be restored so that a second bedroom is advisable.
You might need a home with at least 3 bedrooms if you expect a second or third child, assuming that this fits your budget. Siblings may eventually share a room, but an older sibling’s sleep might disturb a baby.
You may want to look for a house with as many bedrooms as family members if you have young people. Teens frequently want to have their own rooms and also to hang out with friends, for example a family room or a finished cellar.
Consider other situations that may have to be taken care of in your home in addition to your immediate family. You may want a guest bedroom if you regularly host family or friends outside of town. You may need a dedicated office with a privacy door if you work from home.
Only consider child-friendliness if you decide what size home is best for your family.
When looking at homes, it can be useful to list features that are helpful to busy households with children:
- Fenced yard:
- Open floor plan:
Location, location, location
With children, you’ll probably want a safe and family-friendly neighborhood. Realtors shall not disseminate information concerning school ratings, crime or demographics of the neighborhood, as this violates the Fair Housing Act. But you can do your own research.
Check the ratings of the local schools through the school district website or through GreatSchools.org if you plan to use public schools. Look for teacher-student ratios and standardized tests – the lower, and the higher, are generally good quality indicators. The age and condition of the facilities may be considered too.
Drive around the neighborhoods to live in. Find families with kids and insights such as swing sets and basketball hoops. Consider visiting after school or on weekends when children can play outside.
Check out nearby recreational facilities such as parks, leisure centers, swimming pools, museums, and gyms. Parks often host events such as parades and fairs, so please visit the website of the city for a schedule. A family-friendly community could be identified by an active event calender.
Rehabilitation of your family and home is a cause for celebration. Make sure that you are prepared as much as possible by planning the move. When you are looking for a new home to help keep the hassle on moving every time your family changes, consider your future plans. If your budget allows.
Home and family go hand in hand and get ready to make memories that last a lifetime.
A good REALTOR® can aide you make the right offer for the property you’re interested in buying. For free valuation, contact us at 401-396-2888. We’re always glad to help!