Updated: May 11, 2022
Purchasing a new home can be both an exciting and incredibly stressful process. Most of us have an extensive list of “must-haves” that we’re hoping to check off (or at least have the budget and skill to add on ourselves when time permits).
For those in the process of searching for the perfect home and adding a wee one to the family, things can get even trickier. Expanding your family comes with its own challenges and changes, so we decided to jot down a shortlist of a few considerations that might come in handy for some family-friendly house-hunting. Think of it as a sort of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting…and Buying."
Family-Friendly House Hunting Tips
1. Choose Your Island Wisely
Early parenthood can be a lonely time, especially for single and/or stay at home parents. You may find that your most frequent (or only) social outlet is your new baby…and they don’t tend to be great conversationalists. This is a great thing to keep in mind in your search for the perfect neighborhood. Consider areas in which you know you’ll be inclined to get out and explore, whatever that means to you. Maybe you prefer to workout or spend time with your pet in a park—in this case, a home near green spaces might be ideal. More of a city dweller? Be sure to find a place that offers easy access to people, restaurants, museums, etc. You’ll know what feels good when you find it, so long as you’re attuned to your needs. And as a new parent, you’ll be grateful that you trusted your gut.
2. Eliminate the Gates You Hate
Unsightly baby gates are an unnecessary purchase before your little one is mobile, but once they’re on the move (which will come quickly), the need for well-placed barriers can’t be ignored. Most of the options are ill-designed or simply frustrating to use. One simple way to eliminate the need for these annoying (but sometimes necessary) contraptions? Limit your search to single-level homes. Even for those with a second floor or basement, landing on a layout that favors single-level living will be a big win once your kiddo is on the move.
3. Get More Space in Your Place
Kids require a boatload of “stuff”—like, an ungodly amount of it. And try as you might to channel the elimination skills of Marie Kondo, the stuff always tends to continue to pile up (looking at you, grandparents). A home with ample storage, extra closets, or any “blank spaces” that allow for additional organization can help you keep the house relatively clutter free (potentially giving your mind some of the same). And, while we’re on the topic, if you’re shopping for new furniture, consider pieces that also double as storage solutions. While the clothes and toys may be small, the room they require can be overwhelming.
4. Landscape to Your Liking (and Level)
There’s no right answer when it comes to exterior landscaping, but with a new baby on the way, you should consider a yard that speaks to the way you already live. For those lacking the proverbial green thumb, now is not the time to venture into the world of championship roses. Many xeriscaping or low-maintenance options still allow for a beautiful yard without the added work (and despite what you may think, kids don’t require a sprawling lawn). If you do have experience in caring for extensive landscaping, the world is your oyster—just keep in mind that you’ll have a little less time for mowing and pruning once the wee one arrives.
If you need more help finding exactly what you want in this housing market, contact us, and our experienced team would be more than happy to help!