When you’re buying a new home, there are lots of things to consider, especially if you have a family. Which school district is the house located in? What activities are nearby for your family to do? Has the home had a thorough inspection to ensure that it meets safety standards? Is there space for your family to grow or will you need to purchase a new home if you have more children? Read on to learn about the questions you should ask before you sign on the dotted line to purchase a new home.
Get Your Home Inspected Prior to Purchase
Make sure to schedule a home inspection before seriously considering a purchase. You’ll want to know if any issues are present and whether they are easily fixed. While you might be less worried about uncovered sockets in a home without children, you’re going to want to make sure issues like this are addressed before you move in with kids. Other items, such as having smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in every room, should also be considered.
Family Friendly Neighborhoods
Is your new neighborhood safe? Is there a Neighborhood Watch or similar civic organization where neighbors are looking out for each other? If you can, visit your potential new neighborhood during both the day and evening hours to get an idea. Also, be sure to pay a visit during the weekend. Are kids playing basketball in your neighbor’s driveway or are there no kids to be seen?
Check crime reports or talk to the local police station. Most local newspapers have a section known as the police blotter that will outline local crimes that have been reported. Your realtor might even be able to give you information about the safety of the area, but remember that they may be biased because they’re trying to sell you the home.
Is the neighborhood quiet? If you’re moving near a university, you’re bound to be surrounded by students and potentially house parties. Visiting the neighborhood at different hours can help you determine if the environment is something you’re okay with and one you’ll want to raise your children around.
When moving with children, it’s important to research the school districts surrounding your new home. Your realtor is limited on the information that they can divulge due to the Fair Housing Act, but you can look into statistics on your own. Or if you’re sending your children to a private school, you’ll want to know how far away your commute will be.
There are some important questions that you’re going to want to get the answers to before you move into a new house, especially if you’ll be sending your kids to local public schools. What are the classroom sizes, and the teacher to student ratio? How well does the school perform on standardized tests? You may also want to set up a time to tour the local school and get a feel for the facilities. If your child is a burgeoning artist but the school doesn’t offer art classes, it might be a poor fit for you both.
If you have kids, you’re going to want to know what local activities are within an easy distance. Can you walk to the park or basketball courts, or are they an easy drive away? The further you have to travel, the less likely you are to go, and having built-in entertainment can be a blessing, especially with toddlers. Is there a skating rink or miniature golf course locally? What about a golf course or tennis court for mom and dad?
Check local activities for a taste of other things to enjoy, such as festivals and gatherings. A vibrant event calendar can help suggest a family friendly environment and will help provide things to do on the weekends and even during the week. Some cities offer a variety of recreation options, from outdoor movie nights to free concerts.
Fixer Upper or Move-In Ready
Another big question: fixer upper or move in ready home? While a fixer upper with the right redesign can save money while also maintaining architectural charm, it’s important to note that this can take time. Be cognizant of the timeline with fixer upper, especially with children.
Number of Bedrooms and Floor Space
The size of your prospective house is important depending on how many kids you already have, and how many more you plan to have. You’re going to want at least two bedrooms with children: one for you and one for your kids. If you have multiple children or older children, you might need to have separate rooms for them.
One thing that you might not consider is how much storage space your prospective house has. A basement that’s finished off could double as a hangout space when your children are older, while an attic is useful for holding holiday decorations and items you’ll want to save for the future.
What does the closet space look like? Is there room in each bedroom and the hallway for storage, or is putting away clothes and linens going to be difficult for your growing family?
A large backyard gives your family plenty of room for fun! Imagine having the space for a trampoline, playhouse, or even for a new dog. You can set up a deck and have cookouts and celebrations with friends and family for birthdays, holidays, and get togethers.
The amount of upkeep is going to determine how much free time you have to spend on other pursuits. A large yard will take time to maintain unless you plan on paying someone to take care of it. Additionally, if you enjoy gardening, you’ll want plenty of space for your flowers and vegetables to grow, and you’ll need to consider how much sunlight the yard gets.
Amenities in Your House
Did you always want a large kitchen with room for everyone around the table? Picking the dining table is an easy choice, but it’s difficult to renovate a kitchen beyond cabinets or changing appliances.
Are you looking for a pool? What about having a fence around the pool to keep the kids out of harm’s way when you aren’t looking? Aboveground pools are straightforward to add to the yard, but in-ground pools will usually be much more expensive.
There are a wide variety of things that you need to consider when you’re looking at moving into a new house and neighborhood, especially if you have children. There are safety matters that must be considered from the house to the neighborhood, as well as what activities you can do in the house and the surrounding city. Take the school district into consideration, as you’ll want your children to get the best education that they can get. It’s an exciting time to be sure, but it’s also important to do plenty of research before you make one of the biggest purchases of your life.