There are many considerations that go into buying a home if you are looking for a place in which to raise a family. As a single person, you may be willing to settle for a home that is relatively small and situated out of the way. However, if you have, or are planning to start, a family, it could be difficult bringing up children in such an environment. Children need room - not only space for a bed, but a place to play and express themselves. They need a place which offers a high level of safety. As for you as a parent, you will also want to see your child thrive in their environment, which will influence the location you choose. Such considerations should affect your decision-making process when looking to buy a family home.
One of the most important family home considerations is size. A one bedroom apartment may not be the ideal place in which to raise several children. While past generations may have managed with smaller houses, such places would not be considered optimal today. Children can be noisy and like to run around, spread out their toys, and turn their living space into their play area. You may want to consider buying a house with a large living room, as well as rooms that can become extra bedrooms, a playroom or a game room. If feasible, you might want a place with a large yard, or even a pool.
You will need larger closets and storage space, particularly for when your children become teenagers. Is there a room that can be your haven away from the hustle and bustle of the family?
You might be willing to compromise on the size of your house, but consider whether a small place for your children to play might impact upon your sanity, as well as your neighbors. This could affect your level of happiness in your new home.
Features of the Home
There are several home features that you will need when you have children. Are the kitchen and dining room large enough to be able to cook and serve meals for all members of your family and any friends they may want to invite? Will the laundry room be big enough to fit a large washing machine (which is often a necessity when there are active children who are constantly dirtying their clothes)? Are there a sufficient number of wall sockets for all the computers, televisions and electronic items that your children may want to use?
Depending on the age of your children, you may also need a child-proofed home. In an open-plan home, this may be difficult. For example, your kitchen may need a child-proof gate to stop your children from gaining access to dangerous items. Built-in closets and cupboards may need close scrutiny to see whether there is any danger of children getting trapped inside. Your tables and shelves may have sharp corners that could present a danger to babies.
What about the wiring and sockets? Are they all out of the reach of children or can you child-proof them? If the property has a yard, is it surrounded by a fence? Are there a lot of dogs in the neighborhood that might intimidate your children?
Another consideration when buying a home with children in mind is its location. Your children will need to attend school. Are there institutions nearby that meet your requirements? If not, is it practical for them to commute to school each day?
Are there shops, entertainment and sports options in the neighborhood? Will children have access to playmates? Will your children have places to go on the weekend?
Another issue is whether there are any dangers to children in the area. What are the crime levels? Is traffic moderated or do cars generally ignore the road laws? Is it safe to cross the streets? Are there any factories or other sources of pollution that may affect your children's health? Also, are there doctors, hospitals and a police presence nearby?
Knowing the answers to these questions will affect not only your children's wellbeing, but also give you peace of mind when searching for your future home.