For many people, finding a new home is more than a matter of personal taste and individual finance – it’s a family affair. I’ve bought a house as a newlywed couple and then again with a child, but buying one now with my three boys would certainly be a different experience. For those buying a new home to accommodate a growing family, it is an exciting step in one’s life, but it can also be a balancing act.
A recent survey released by Coldwell Banker Real Estate found that 65 percent of homeowners who are also parents purchased their first home before becoming pregnant or within one year of their child’s birth. Wow, that’s a lot going on in a person’s life at one time, but it makes sense. It isn’t until you have a child that you realize just how much space this tiny, little person takes up so that apartment or condo you bought won’t cut it with a munchkin crawling around.
For those consumers who are in a position like this, Coldwell Banker has put together five tips for buying a home with a family in mind:
- Proximity to family. Nearly half of the homeowner respondents in a recent survey from Coldwell Banker reported that they live less than 10 minutes from extended family members, with 72 percent choosing to live within 30 minutes. Buying a home that is close to family members can provide support, help and guidance that can be a great benefit both emotionally and financially. With extended family nearby, families have the opportunity to spend more time together and even save money on occasion. The cost of babysitters and long distance travel to visit relatives can really add up!
- Existing floor plan. Each family has its own unique dynamic and should take its distinctive needs into consideration when exploring different floor plans. While having a master bedroom upstairs and the other rooms downstairs may work for some families, others may prefer to have all of the bedrooms on the same level.
- Surrounding neighborhood. The neighborhood looks different from the eyes of a parent. It’s wise to get an idea of what the neighborhood offers for children, such as local recreational centers, parks or playgrounds as well as the school system, before deciding on an area to live. Coldwell Banker recommends home buyers utilize online tools such as Coldwell Banker On Location or local neighborhood sites that can offer consumers a wealth of local market information.
- Future lifestyle needs. They say children grow up in the blink of an eye, and while you don’t believe at first, it’s absolutely true. Make sure the home you purchase leaves growing room and will still fit your family’s needs a few years down the road, especially if there are plans for more children.
- Budget. One of the most important things for all potential homeowners to consider is their personal budget. Growing a family and having children usually means a growing list of expenses as well. Estimate monthly expenses along with a mortgage payment to ensure all financial commitments can be reasonably met.
These are just 5 simple steps for buying a home with a family, but there’s so many details involved that it certainly helps to have a trusted agent by your side to guide you through the process. Don’t just take my word for it though. Check out this testimonial video from a family in Rockwall, Texas that used trusted Coldwell Banker agent, Evan Matteson, to help make their move into a bigger place a smooth and enjoyable experience.