When you are buying a family home there may be a lot of people to please. You also have to look into the future and try to predict what the needs of your growing family will be. A home that suits you, your partner and a toddler may not be suitable for three boisterous teenagers. It makes sense to keep the number of times that you move to a minimum because there will be fees to pay and it is very time consuming and disruptive.
The best plan is to put together a checklist of everything that you think that you will need in a family home. Then highlight the ones that you are not prepared to compromise on. Here are a few ideas to get you started on your checklist.
Specify your house buying budget
There is little point in you making appointments to look at seven-bedroom castles with indoor pools and private cinemas when your budget will only stretch to a modest two-bedroom house. You are simply setting yourself up for disappointment. Before you make any appointments at all, speak to your financial or mortgage adviser and find out how much you can borrow. However, this advice is not fool-proof and you still have some responsibilities. You will have to raise a deposit or down-payment and that will vary from 5% to 50% of the cost of the house. Do you have this money available? Even if you do have the money, there may be other things that you would prefer to do with the money.
There are also the monthly repayments to consider. If you do not keep up these repayments you run the risk of losing your home so calculate your monthly family budget and make sure that you are happy to continue paying this sum of money every month for many years. It may mean that you have to cut down on little luxuries and this may not be what you want for your family.
Decide on a new house or an old one
The consensus of opinion is that you will face fewer bills for structural issues if you buy a new house and on the whole this is true. However, if you move into a brand-new house there is no guarantee that nothing will go wrong. You need to remember that no-one has ever lived there before and so you will be the first ones to use the shower, oven, taps and so on. It is likely that you will find something that does not work! You can usually get the house builder to rectify these fairly quickly.
At the other end of the scale is a house that is very run down and requires a lot of work. At first, this may seem like a cost-effective way of getting on the housing ladder without spending a fortune especially if you are very keen on DIY. However, carrying out major structural works to your home when you have a young family is a challenge, to say the least. It may also be dangerous if your kids are very young and do not understand that there are certain areas of the house that they should not enter, electrical wires that they should not touch and chemicals that they should not put in their mouths!
If you take the expensive option of living in rented accommodation whilst the construction work is underway, you could take a long time to recover financially from this.
Choose a house that can adapt to your needs
To make the move financially worthwhile, it makes sense to stay in your new home for 10 to 15 years. Therefore, you need to ensure that it is capable of fulfilling your needs for several years.
Is the house capable of accommodating more children? This will be a big factor in choosing the number of bedrooms. The size of bedrooms is also important. Whilst a tiny bedroom may be perfectly adequate as a nursery it may not be suitable for an 11-year-old.
Also think about the layout of the bedrooms. Are they close together so that you can reach your children quickly in the middle of the night if they need you? Things may be a little different when they are teens and crave the privacy that a loft room or a basement room may offer them.
Think about how your day to day life works as a family. Do you need a play-area that is close to the kitchen so that you can keep an eye on the children whilst you are preparing family meals?
It doesn’t matter if the house is not perfect as it stands but it must have potential. For example, could the den be converted into spare another bedroom if you have another baby? Perhaps the garage could be converted into a recreation room for older kids.
Check out local schools and amenities
The location is very important when choosing a family home. Wherever you move, a cross country moving company can offer you safe and affordable national moving and storage solutions. When you have a family, you need the customized moving plan to ensure that your belongings arrive promptly and safely.
One of the things that will dictate the location that you choose will be the availability of good schools. Your child’s education plays a huge part in their future career and so it is a big decision.
Take your time and have a good look around your general area. Look at the school reviews and reports online and try to talk to parents who have kids at the school. Visit the school yourself and assess if it seems right for your child. Will they fit in with the culture of the school and will any special needs that they have be catered for?
Even if you choose to home-school your children, you will want to live in an area where there are local amenities for families. Check out the local parks, libraries, shopping malls and sports facilities. Could you imagine your family spending time there?
This is a decision that takes some time but if you get it right, you will have a lovely family home that will grow with you and last your family for years.
*This post was contributed. Family friendly post are welcome.