Whether you’re already expecting a child or are just beginning to consider starting a family, you may find yourself wondering if your current home will be the best fit for you once your new child arrives. To help you determine if it’s time to start shopping around, we’ve assembled a list of common questions to consider when house hunting with a growing family.
What Size Home Do You Need?
How many children you’re planning to have will likely impact the size of the home you’ll want to buy. The space you need to comfortably raise one child is much less than what you may need if you’re planning on having three or four.
The number of children you have can impact your home needs in different ways, such as:
- The number and/or size of bedrooms: If you want each child to have their own room, you’ll have to find a home that can accommodate this. If you plan on having them share, you’ll want to choose a home with bedrooms that can accommodate more furniture and have enough closet space to store clothes and toys.Additionally, you’ll want to consider if you’d like to have a spare bedroom always available for guests. This may be important to you if you plan to have family visit frequently from out of town. It may be less crucial if you live near your family members and they won’t need a place to stay overnight.
- The number of full bathrooms: It’s helpful to think long term when considering the number of full bathrooms (meaning they have a shower or bathtub) you’d like your home to have. Consider how many children you’ll have getting ready for school in the mornings at or around the same time you and/or your partner may be getting ready for work. While everyone certainly doesn’t need their own bathroom, you’ll want to consider if it’s realistic to believe everyone can share one and still get where they need to be on time.
- Indoor play space: Are you okay with your child’s toys taking center stage in your living room? Or do you want them to have a space of their own? Your tolerance for having toys in your common spaces will impact how large of a home you want to consider. If you’d like your child(ren) to have a space of their own to spread out, you may want to find a house with a second living room that can be turned into a playroom or a finished basement where you can stash toys out of sight.
What Outside Space Do You Want on Your Property or in Your Neighborhood?
If you’re planning on having children, you’ll likely want to give them the opportunity to play outside. Depending on the type of area you live in and your preferences, this could take different forms:
- Backyard: Do you envision yourself playing catch in your yard? Teaching your child to garden? Or playing a pickup game of soccer with other neighborhood kids? If so, you’ll want to choose a home that has a backyard that can accommodate these dreams.
- Community parks or playgrounds: If maintaining a large yard isn’t something that interests you, it’s worthwhile to scout out a home in a development with easily accessible green space, such as a community park or playground. In this instance, you can have the best of both worlds – a place to play without the need for constant maintenance. Or, if you live in a more urban area where yards are hard to come by, this gives you an alternate option for spending time outside.
Where Will Your Child(ren) Learn and Play?
School and play time are both important for children. Before choosing a home, you’ll want to consider the following to ensure they have access to high-quality opportunities for both.
- School district ratings: Home listings usually tell you what public schools are associated with that address. Take time to research the district and learn about its reputation before committing to a home. If you find a home you love in a district you’re not excited about, it doesn’t mean the deal is off. However, you’ll want to consider the extra cost of sending your child to a private school if you’re not comfortable with the assigned district.
- Community activities: Take time to research the community you’re considering buying a home in and what child-friendly activities are found there. Are there opportunities for your child to get involved nearby, or would you have a long drive to any extracurriculars?
Does the Location Work for the Foreseeable Future?
The one thing you can’t change about a home is where it’s located. So, take the following into consideration to decide if the location will work for you and your growing family in the long term:
- Proximity to family: Do you drive to your parent’s house for Sunday dinners? Or have a family member that’ll provide in-home childcare? If so, you’ll want to make sure you won’t tire of the drive from your new home to these key locations.
- Additional development possibilities: Perhaps a neighborhood is low traffic for now, but there are plans to add a new phase of development in the coming years, which could increase traffic on the street. Or maybe the home backs up into a field, but that land will eventually be developed into a housing development, impacting the level of privacy your family has. These aren’t necessarily cons, but items you’ll want to be aware of as you consider the best home for your family now and in the future.
Finance Your Family Home with PSECU
Once you firm up your wish list for your growing family’s new home, it’s time to work with a mortgage lender to determine the price range you can afford to make it happen. For a mortgage that offers competitive rates, flexible loan terms, and a commitment to servicing your loan after closing, contact us to learn about our options.