Buying a house is both stressful and takes a lot of time, whether you have kids or not. When you want to buy a house as a family, there are certain things you need to consider. Because this is a huge investment you’re making, you don’t want to end up regretting it.
Whether you are using a real estate agent to help with buying a house with kids or you are doing it on your own, you need to ask (yourself or the agent) these important questions before you start looking at the properties available.
1. Does the neighbourhood have other families?
In the neighbourhood you want to move to, are there other families present? Do they have children who are already going to school? Depending on the age of your kids, you might want to find a place which has other kids who will play with your children. The best way to find out is to either ask your agent or visit the neighbourhood during the school holidays. You will find kids playing outside.
2. How much space does the house have?
When you are looking for a house, you will have to make a decision on location vs space. you need to think about the space. Is there a compound where your kids can play or will they be forced to stay indoors? Kids need enough space both indoors and outside for them to even have playdates with their friends. Keep this in mind when house hunting.
3. Are there good schools?
Another important factor to consider is whether the neighbourhood has good, reputable schools. You want to take your kids to a school that performs well during exams. Research on the schools which are available and look at the results from previous students. Don’t only focus on the examination results but also if the school has extracurricular activities. This will help you raise an all-round child with diverse skill sets.
4. Will the kids’ rooms be on the same floor?
Another factor that is overlooked but is equally important is the location of the bedrooms. For safety purposes, parents will want rooms that are adjacent to each other and close to the master bedroom so that it is easier to monitor the kids. Say you get a townhouse and you have 2 children, you can’t have one sleeping on the ground floor while the other one upstairs. The one on the ground floor could get scared or start feeling isolated.
5. How is the traffic situation?
When you have children, you have to be careful about the car movement in the area you want to move to. When kids are playing outside, you can’t monitor their every move. It is hard to tell the road situation by looking at pictures from your listing. You might have to drive by on your own to see for yourself.
6. What are the crime rates in the neighbourhood?
The safety of your family is the number one priority when you’re looking for a house to buy. Some locations have high crime rates compared to others. Your real estate agent should tell you the hotspots in the country to help you determine where to avoid and to make informed decisions.
7. Is the house fenced?
Lastly, you need to know if there is a fence around your house, for your safety and that of the kids. A fence will keep intruders away from your property and keep your kids inside the compound.
8. Are there recreational facilities close by?
Imagine yourself on a Sunday afternoon, at home doing nothing so you decide to take your kids out for a family fun day. But you have to drive a long distance to find somewhere with an amusement park. That makes no sense. Ask your agent or research on your own to know if there is one where you plan on buying your house.
These questions may seem many, but they are very important to ask if you want to find the right house. Take your time before making a huge investment in buying a house.