If you’re a potential buyer who either already has children, or the intention of starting a family, the home search is going to look a little different for you. No need to fear—you’ll have quite a few options. Here are a few things to keep in mind when buying a home that’s kid-friendly.
Depending on the size of your family, you’ll want to make sure the kitchen and dining room are big enough to comfortably fit everyone, plus potential guests. Check the closets and other storage spaces: will there be enough room? Can the living room and bedrooms fit the size of furniture you have in mind without appearing cluttered? Is there room for your children to play and leave toys?
Some of the most important details to have in mind are school districts and zoning. You may be considering a house that’s located within a few miles of the best elementary school in town, but when the time comes to enroll, you may not quite fall into the district lines. Always ask your real estate agent what school district the property is designated in—if he or she is unsure, you can always contact the board of education, because this is public information. Do your research on the schools your children will end up attending before making an offer, to avoid frustration and disappointment down the road. A “good” school doesn’t just mean one that has decent standardized test scores, so you’ll want to look at the teacher-to-student ratio and graduation rates.
Another location-related factor is whether there’s parks or recreational centers within walking distance (or a short drive), so that your children will have plenty of opportunities to play, be active, and spend time outside.
Depending on the age of your children, it’s a good idea to be extra mindful of any potential hazards within the house you’re considering. If you have infants or toddlers, will it be possible to child-proof risky areas considering the floor plan? Are the stairs too steep? Are there shelves or countertops with sharp corners? These are just a few of the things you’ll need to look out for when finding a home that’s safe for both you and your children.
Potential homebuyers should also be making sure the neighborhood is safe. This means not only checking for busy intersections, but also checking crime rates and if there are any offenders registered nearby. It’s also beneficial to find out where the nearest hospital or police stations are.