House hunting when you’re expecting can be overwhelming — especially if it’s your first baby. You have to not only consider you and your partner’s likes and dislikes – you also have to consider what your expanding will family need to be happy and comfortable. Use these house hunting tips for soon-to-be-parents to guide your home search!
Look Into the Schools:
Even if school is still a few years off, take the time to learn about various school districts in your area and use what you learn to help narrow down neighborhood options. Ideally, you’ll want to find a home in an excellent district with multiple school options. Take a look at private schools, charter schools, and traditional public schools. Also, research what kind of childcare and preschool options are available nearby.
Read the Crime Statistics:
Crime statistics should always be a key part of your home shopping process, but they become especially important when you have little ones. Look for homes in a safe neighborhood with low crime rates by researching the amount of crime that occurs nearby. To spot ideal neighborhoods, look for the lowest crime rate and the least occurrences of violent crime. The goal is to make sure you’ll be comfortable with your kids playing outside or walking to a friends house.
Plan for Family Growth:
Evaluate the size of each house and consider your plans for your family. If you want more children, you may be smart to invest in a with a couple extra bedrooms to buy yourself more time before you need to upsize. Be sure the rooms you mentally set aside for children will allow them to grow in the space. Also consider whether or not you have room for your kid(s) to study, practice their hobbies and spend time outdoors.
Learn About the Neighbors:
When you find a home you really like, drive over there several times, at different times of the day and night, to get a feel for who lives in the neighborhood and for what the area feels like. If you want your kids to have playmates nearby, look for neighborhoods with children and growing families rather than singles and older individuals. You can even take it a step further and talk to your potential neighbors to help you determine if you and your family will feel comfortable in the area while your children grow.
Carefully Consider Added Child Costs:
A new child will have a major impact on your finances, and you need to make sure you’re considering the added costs as you set your home budget. If you’re a first-time buyer, you’ll experience some increased costs with home ownership as well. Be sure to research what your mortgage, property tax, and utility costs will be and take those into consideration – in addition to new child expenses. Then, make sure you set a budget that leaves you enough wiggle room to live comfortably.
Shopping for a home when you’re expecting requires more time and research, but it’s well worth the extra effort for the peace of mind you’ll have for years to come.