Whether you’re purchasing your first home or are a home-buying pro, shopping for the perfect place to call home can be even more challenging when kids are involved. But with a little planning, the house-hunting process can be a fun and memorable experience for you and your children. Here are some tips for success:
Know when to include your kids in the search
Shopping for a new home can be stressful and tedious, so it’s best to wait to involve your children in the process until you’ve narrowed down your top choices. Start your home search online and visit prospective homes first without your children, then bring them back for another visit if the house is a top choice.
Involving children in the house-hunting process is key to making the move more exciting for them and helps prepare them for this big transition. You can introduce your child to each home you’ll visit online through apps like Opendoor.
“If scheduling permits, try to limit your in-person home tours to one or two houses at a time, so your child doesn’t get bored or overwhelmed,” shared Candice Bradley, general manager of Opendoor Tampa and mom to four young children. “As you walk through the house, talk with your child about how it might look with your furniture, and how he or she might want to arrange their future bedroom.”
Research neighborhoods and schools
Do other families live in the neighborhood? Ask them how they enjoy it. Take your family on a walk around a potential neighborhood and get a feel for what daily life would be like. Consider how far away playgrounds, community pools and local recreational facilities are for your young athletes.
When it comes to schools, you may want to research school districts online before you begin your house search to help to keep your house-hunting more focused. Visiting school websites and social media pages with your children can also help them feel more comfortable and look forward to meeting new friends.
Consider house size and layout
If you’re planning to grow your family, a bigger home may be a better choice. Having extra storage for toys and sports equipment, along with a designated area where kids can have space to play and make noise, can keep both grown-ups and kids happy. Also consider how the house’s floor plan fits your family’s lifestyle. If the kitchen and dining area are where your family gathers, is the space big enough to accommodate everyone, including extended family and guests during holidays? Are there enough bathrooms to allow all family members time and space to get ready for the day during the morning rush (especially once they get to be teenagers!)?
Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions that your family will make. By taking the time to prescreen houses and paying attention to the details that will affect your family, you can find the perfect home where you can watch your children grow and thrive for years to come.