House hunting with children can add another layer of complexity to your search. It is a balancing act; moving can be difficult for both young children and finicky teenagers. When you are house hunting for your family, consider how the home will suit your kids now and in the future.
Before you begin touring homes, here are a few tips for parents to consider:
If you plan on bringing your kids with you to look at houses, give them a job, however simple, as it will give them a sense of ownership. Allowing your children to feel involved in the process in a great way to get them excited about moving.
Show your children the new community. Ensure your house hunt involves discussions about local parks, schools, and extracurricular activity centers. Exploring will give you a chance to assess the walkability of the community. Sidewalks and cul-de-sacs add an extra layer of safety by providing a buffer between kids at play and cars. Note parking both in your neighborhood and local town centers. Accessible parking is a lifesaver while navigating errands, multiple kids and car seats.
It's a studied fact that playing outside is good for kids. If you do not want to supervise every time your children play outside, check how much of the yard you can see from inside your home. Having a safe outdoor space for your kids to play in can give you peace of mind. Purchasing a home also gives you freedom to transform that space. Do your kids want a swing set, a treehouse, or a soccer net? If there is not much space, consider how far local playgrounds and fields are.
An open floor plan allows for more supervision but also makes it more difficult to childproof your home. Also, note the placement of bedrooms. Having a toddler down the hall is ideal for late-night wake up calls, but, on the other hand, having a flight of stairs between you and your teens may offer a welcome privacy barrier. Finally, consider if your children will be able to share a bathroom or if they need their own.
Looking for more information on buying a home? My Home by Freddie Mac® has a variety of educational resources about renting, buying and owning a home.
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