Buying a new home is always a major decision, but if you have children or plan to in the future there are additional factors to think of besides budget and number of bedrooms. Be sure to consider the following when looking at homes to accommodate your family.
While a wide-open layout may seem appealing at first, you should think about your storage needs. Toys, strollers, car seats and other baby gear (not to mention sports equipment and school supplies as your children get older) can take up a lot of space. Be sure that there are plenty of cabinets, closets and other storage spaces that will allow your home to be tidy. A mudroom or large entry way might also be ideal to tuck away shoes and coats. You should also consider the outdoor space. Does the property have a yard for your children to play in? Is it fenced in?
While spiral staircases can be visually appealing, they are also difficult to gate off posing a falling risk. Some aesthetically appealing features of a home are not always as appealing when considering raising a family Think about whether or not you will be able to gate off or isolate less safe areas of the home from your children. Other things that might cause additional concern are large open fireplaces and swimming pools. Try to look at each home from a child‚Äôs perspective to see what could be potentially dangerous features of the home. These things may just require extra caution in the event that you purchase the home.
In addition to the visible dangers in a home there are also some things that cannot be seen. Lead is one cause for concern especially in older homes. Lead paint and lead pipes are the most common sources of lead in a home. While not necessarily a deal breaker it is important to be aware of potential additional costs to remove lead paint or replace piping. Presence of mold and radon are other risk factors that should be considered. Be sure to have a complete home inspection for these toxins that could be particularly detrimental to the health of children.
When buying a home it is important to think about not only the house itself but also the neighborhood. Some questions you might wish to ask your self: Can I easily walk to nearby parks and schools? ¬†Are there other families with children in the area? Am I near any busy streets that could be a potential hazard? Are there sidewalks for my child to walk or ride his or her bike on? Lastly, you might consider contacting the local police department regarding criminal activity in the area.
House hunting is an exciting time for you and your family. If you consider a few additional items you can make sure that your new home will meet all the needs of you and your family for many years to come.