When you buy a starter home, if you’re like most people, you’re looking for a lockup and go lifestyle that is low maintenance, and allows you to do things like travel or go out on the town without worrying about your house. Most people choose condos for their first home if they buy early on as it makes a great starting point for new couples.
A few years later, however, you’re likely to be considering things like number of bedrooms, whether there’s a tub to bath kids, and whether there’s grass in the backyard for kids to play on. When you reach this stage, you need to think ahead when you shop for a family home, so that your home can grow with you and your family over time.
Here are important factors when it comes to house shopping while your family is growing:
- Location, location, location. You can change a lot of things inside and outside a home, but you can’t change the location. Look for a home that’s in a family-friendly neighborhood in Langley, close to good schools, and with easy access to amenities that your family will need.
- Location relates to more than just amenities though. You can also save significantly by choosing a less popular, up and coming neighborhood, rather than an established one. Ditto, acreages outside of major cities are still close enough to all the convenience, but offer space, fresh air and room to grow.
- When considering location, also consider things like Langley transit and school bus routes. At some point in the future, you’re going to need those to get your kids from A to B.
- Choose family friendly finishes. If you’re buying a new home, look for laminate or hardwood floors in living spaces, and easy to clean tile in bathrooms. Hardwood or laminate throughout is a popular choice these days, and unlike carpet, these types of floors are hypoallergenic. If you’re buying an older home, be sure there’s enough left in the budget for this type of upgrade.
- If there are rooms that are not completely updated, that may not be terrible, particularly if you have small children, and are looking for a forever home. You can get more home for your money if you purchase a fixer upper, and in many cases, small children and super updated spaces don’t mix too well anyway.
- Look for open floor plans. Open concept main floors and living spaces are family friendly, and allow for entertaining, cooking and watching kids with ease.
- Enough room for your family in five year’s time. If you’re not sure that you’ve had all of your children, how many do you think you might have in the next five or ten years? You need to buy a family home that will accommodate the family you will have, not the family you have now.
- Room to expand. Whether it’s a large lot that will allow for additions later on, or a basement that can be finished to provide more living space or bedrooms, it’s always a good idea to choose a home that can be added to if the need arises later on.
- While on the topic of lots, when you buy a home for a family, the backyard is a big factor. You want it to be large enough to accommodate kids swing sets, decks, a pool or hot tub, and space to run around. You also need it to be relatively flat to accommodate all of those things without a big expense in earthworks, and preferably, a fence that’s in pretty good shape. Ensuring your children are actively playing outdoors supports a healthy lifestyle and improves their development.
Ultimately, the must haves for your family home are up to you, but if you choose to focus on the items on this list, and you shop smart, you can find a great home that will grow with your family. After all, a house is just four walls and a roof. It’s the family that makes it a home.