There is a lot to take into consideration when you are purchasing your first family home. You’ll need to put some careful thought and consideration into what’s best for your children (even if they haven’t been born yet!) It’s important to focus on your child's immediate and long-term future while still paying attention to your own needs. Sometimes, a home may be outside the zone and price point you were originally hoping for, but when you take the long term into consideration, it could be well worth the investment. Here are some tips to keep in mind while looking at Kelowna real estate with children in your future.
Won't You Be My Neighbour? Safety Counts
If there are children in your future, your number one priority should be safety. It's always worth checking in with your real estate agent or the local police station regarding the crime rates in the area. Is the community involved in a neighbourhood watch? Who are your neighbours going to be? It may be worth talking to some future neighbours (preferably those with children) about the area. Not only will you learn more about the community in general, but you’ll also gather a sense of what kind of people live in the area and how they might influence your family in a negative or positive way. It may feel strange to knock on a stranger’s door at first, but buying a home is a big investment, and most people will understand your concerns. If everyone shuts the door in your face, you can take it as a sign in and of itself.
Does the Neighbourhood Offer Things You Simply Can’t Refuse?
Whether you're moving to a new community or a historic neighbourhood, what sort of child friendly amenities would be on your "must-have" list? Make note of what parks and playgrounds, community centers, recreation centers (courts and rinks), libraries, shops, and entertainment facilities are within walking distance or a quick drive from the neighbourhood. You don’t need to think of everything, but it can be helpful to explore the area or conduct a quick Internet search to see what it has to offer. You might be surprised at the resources you come across, and that may just give you new ideas for activities to enrol your children in.
Education, Transportation, Location
As a parent (or future parent), you have probably been doing your research or have some notion of what kind of school you would like your children to attend. But you’ll also need to consider transportation. Will the kids be driven to school every day or would you rather live next to a school zone where kids can walk to and from school safely? Is there public transportation they can take that is close to school and by your home, or will you be relying on a school bus schedule? And while we're all vying to give our kids the very best education, location should play a big role in your choice. A school that is close to home or near a community/ recreation center that offers great after-school activities could be beneficial to your child's extra curricular schedule, and helpful to working parents who need a more independent child.
Choosing the perfect home for you and your growing family isn't easy. Finding a functional home is half the battle; finding it in a neighbourhood you will love is the other half. Compromises will have to be made over what's best for your family, but keep these tips at the top of your list if you’d like to expand your family in the future. Happy house hunting!