Today’s article is a guest post from Tracey Clayton, a full-time mom of three girls. She’s passionate about fashion, home décor, and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live”. You can find her on Facebook.
As first time expecting parents buying your first home there is certainly a lot to think about! When I am working with first time or expecting parents often they do not always know what they should be thinking about. Work with a buyer’s agent who has kids.
They can share their experience of home ownership with a growing family with you, to help you make smart choices.
One of my things as a parent with a house is I want to be able to overlook the yard from the kitchen to keep an eye on the kids. I want a slider right there into the backyard so I can be out there in a flash if need be.
I also love an area where the kids can come in a mess, like a combo mud room laundry
Lets get to the article and see what Tracey has to say about what a first time expecting parent should look for when buying their first home.
What Should First-Time Expecting Parents Look for in Their First Home
Buying a house and expecting your first baby are two major changes in your life. If they are happening at the same time, you should know that the one affects the other and vice versa.
The arrival of the baby should especially impact what you need from the house in order for it to be adequate for you and your expanded family. Your new home should have enough space for all family members, be safe for your kids, and comfortable for all the occupants.
While this is pretty obvious, it can be difficult, especially for first-time home buyers, to know exactly which details to pay attention to.
The Square Footage and the Number of Rooms
While the square footage is not the decisive factor, especially with the popularity of tiny housing, the house does need to provide enough space and privacy for each family member. Of course, your baby doesn’t need that much space now, but kids grow up fast and soon they will need their own rooms.
If you’re planning on having more kids, this is even more important. As for the number of the rooms, you should make sure you have a bedroom for you, a nursery (which can be repurposed into the kids’ room) and an additional room, just in case.
You will not buy a new home every year, so this will probably be your home for a long time. This means your children should have an outdoor space to play. This space should come in the form of a backyard that is spacious enough for their activities (a swing, a mini playground, etc.) and, if possible, for your garden or entertaining area.
The house may have enough rooms, but if they are not properly placed, it is not a home for a family. Kids’ bedrooms should be close to your bedroom, especially while they are still young and they tend to wake up frequently.
You need to be able to hear them. It would be convenient to have an en-suite for yourself, but if not, the main bathroom should be located at approximately equal distance from all the bedrooms.
Open-Concept Main Floor
The open-concept main floor is a common request from home buyers, but it’s even more significant for new parents, because it’s not only about being able to cook and entertain guests at the same time, but about being able to keep an eye on your kids while you’re in the kitchen.
Be aware that open concept often increases the value of the property, and sometimes it’s more cost-efficient to buy a regular house and tear down the wall between the kitchen and the living space. Before you make that final call, though, make sure that the wall is not load-bearing.
Pay Attention to the Flooring
One day, not so far away from now, your baby will begin crawling. Soon after, your little toddler will draw on the floor, spill chocolate milk on it, and make all sort of mess. You need to have a home that is well equipped to handle all that. A wall-to-wall carpet may be comfortable for the crawling part, but will it stand out the test of a frisky toddler? Probably not.
It is always the best option to search for durable and resistant hardwood floors, and when your little one grows enough to start exploring around the house, you can deal with that with area rugs with non-slip pads.
A Safe Home
As a parent, your most important priority is to keep your children safe, now and in the future. Our homes have a lot of potential hazards, one of the biggest being the stairs.
The staircase has to have railing and has to be firm and durable. Speaking of the stairs, this is the hardest area to child-proof, and you need to consider getting a baby gate as soon as possible. Many homeowners often forget to baby proof the banister, and that is a serious mistake, because kids can easily get their head through the gap. This makes a banister guard an essential part of baby proofing the staircase.
Family and Kid-Friendly Furniture
Regardless whether you are buying a completely empty house or you are holding on to some of the furniture from the previous owners, you need to think about, both the choice of the furniture and about its arrangement. Couches and chairs in the living room should be of darker hues so that the stains are less noticeable.
Also, you should pick materials that are easy to clean, and organic, which means they do not release harmful toxins into the air. As for the kids’ room, look for manufacturers like the reputable Incy Interiors who produce furniture with rounded edges so you won’t have to babyproof it yourself.
A Healthy Home
In the previous paragraph, we talked about toxins released into the air. Indoor air pollution can be significantly more damaging than the outdoor, especially for babies who are yet to fully develop their respiratory system. Because of that, you should check with the previous owner, real estate agent and property inspectors whether they used paints with volatile organic compounds for the walls. You should also pay attention if you are buying a historic house, because some of them have lead in the deeper layers of paint.
A Good Neighborhood
A good neighborhood is essential for providing your children a good childhood. This means the neighborhood should be quiet and safe. Of course, every real estate agent will try to convince you that the house on sale is in the best possible area, but this is something you should check on your own.
Take a walk around it at different times of the day and make sure that is really the case. You should also google it to see the crime rate in the area. It would be nice to find a home in a family neighborhood; that way you’ll have parents to hang around with and you’ll be able to set up playdates for your kids.
Proximity to important facilities
Last, but not least. A family home needs to be close to educational centers and schools. The proximity is not the only thing that counts here, though. You need to check if the school that is nearby your potential home is a good one and how the application process functions.
Read online parents’ reviews of the school, search for test scores, and information on faculty. Furthermore, you should check how far away from the house the local hospital, pharmacy, grocery store and park are.
Expecting Parents and Their First Home
A baby changes everything in your life, and the house you are buying is not a house for today. It is a house for the entire marvelous future ahead of you. That is why you need to consider, not only your current needs as a family, but also your future hopes and aspirations, as well as the challenges ahead of you.
These tips should help you make that important purchase, and create a lovely home for your family. You just need to make sure you are not making any emotional decisions. While this is definitely an emotion-driven endeavor, the final call belongs to your rational side of personality. After all, that is the responsibility of a parent.
Anita Clark- Neighborhood Considerations When Buying a Home
Bill Gassett- Consider Your Neighborhood When Buying a Home
Shannon Holmes Buying the Best House In the Best Neighborhood
Tracey has written What Should First-Time Expecting Parents Look for in Their First Home for Kevin Vitali of EXIT Group One Real Estate. Are you an expecting couple searching for your first home? Call Kevin at 978-360-0422 to make the most of your home purchase for your growing family.