When you first start thinking about buying a home, you may have visions of pristine surfaces, minimalist style, and perfectly manicured lawns. Then you look at your kids.
We love our kids but, of course, life with little ones doesn’t exactly lend itself to pristine, minimalist, or manicured. And house-hunting with children can be an adventure in itself. But you may not realize when first looking at a house some of the things that will turn out to be challenges once you’re actually living there. Here, then, are some things to think about when choosing a house for your family.
- No Wide Open Spaces: No, this is not referring to an open concept floor plan, but to some of those spaces that can pose a danger for young children. I remember walking into a friend’s home and seeing the contemporary staircase with the open back–terrifying for me with my rambunctious then-two year old. One false move, and my little one would be scrambling through the back of one of those stairs and all the way down to the floor below. In addition, older homes have different code requirements for the space allowed between banister rails, deck rails, and other spaces. Watch out for too-wide spaces that little ones might wedge into. (Don’t ask me how I know this, just trust.)
- Plenty of Storage: I know you think you know this, but seriously, the amount of STUFF that you will accumulate in the next few years is mind-boggling. And if you have a little athlete with gear and equipment the need for storage becomes even more vital. Add to that the bikes, scooters, battery-powered cars, foot-pedaled cars, and more. An outside storage area or an extra covered area under a porch or deck can turn out to be very useful in keeping it all in check.
- Walkability: Everyone loves a high walkability score for their neighborhood, but when you have kids it is even more important. Having the ability to walk to a store, walk to the Elementary school, or walk to a favorite restaurant is a major bonus when you have children. Just being able to get everyone outside and burn off some energy by walking to a playground is a major plus. If you are choosing between two homes and one is more walkable than the other, take that into serious consideration as a deciding factor.
Of course, there are so many things to think about when buying a home, and buying a home with kids brings its own set of challenges. But going into your home search with a few of your needs in mind can help you and your Realtor choose houses that truly fit your family and the way you live.