Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

What to Look for the First Time You Buy a House When You Have Kids

Having children and buying a home are life-changing events. Both are exciting and change your life for the good. But buying a new home as a family is far different than buying a home when you’re single.

Whether you’re just starting your search or have been looking for a while, here are few things you need to keep in mind.

Check Out the Neighborhood

The location of your new home is probably more important than the actual home itself. You may want a Victorian-style home in a quiet cul-de-sac but if it’s located in a seedy part of town or outside of your children’s school district, you might need to reconsider.

Research the school districts where you’re thinking of moving. If your child attends public school, you’re living in a high-ranking school district. There are a variety of websites where you can research the school districts in the neighborhoods you prefer.

Size Does Matter

Unless you’re positive that your family is complete, you also need to think about how room you need. A quaint two-bedroom home may work well if it’s just you, your partner and a baby.

However, if you plan on expanding your family, you may want to look at homes that can grow with you. If you’re having trouble finding a home that suits your needs, a qualified real estate agent can help you locate homes that are built for expansion.

You also need to weigh the pros and cons of the floor plans. Families with small children may want to have the bedrooms close together instead of different floors. Finally, think about the dining and storage options. Growing families never seem to have enough storage, so make sure the home you choose offer plenty of storage.

Ask for Input

If your kids are old enough, ask what they think about the homes you’re considering. Even though you’re responsible for the mortgage, you still need to consider their feelings before making a final decision.

Although smaller children will usually go with the flow, teens and pre-teens need a home they consider a safe haven, and that means having a space of their own to grow. They also need to know that their opinions matter, so letting them state what they like and don’t like about the houses you’re considering needs to be heard, even if you don’t end up following their wishes.

In addition to asking for opinions from your kids, you should talk regularly with your real estate agent. Bring up any concerns or questions you might have. If you’re open and honest with them, your realtor will be better able to match your specific needs to a home that can provide them.

As eager as you are to go house hunting, take the time to determine your family’s needs prior heading out. Writing a list of must-haves and what’s off limits will save you time, money and frustration. Most importantly, keep an open mind and be willing reconsider what you think is the ideal home.

Tim Esterdahl

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