When shopping for your first family home, there are numerous things to consider. You want the best house to fit your family, which puts a challenging twist on the already tricky home buying process. Take for example, if you fall in love with the first home you tour. It might have a sunny floor with lots of beautiful window views, and a white picket fence, and seem perfect. But, does the floor plan fit your family for now and potentially later? Is the house in excellent condition, or will it need work? Do you have the budget for work? Is it a home that is easy to childproof for those first few years, if necessary?
There are so many things to consider. It can be incredibly easy to settle for a dream house, especially if there’s low housing inventory in the area or you’ve found a house that might be perfect for a future home that doesn’t need to cater to family lifestyle needs.
With a prevalent seller’s market and mortgage rates that are starting to creep up again, parents are seeking to get into a home for a stable environment that lets their family thrive.
Nearly half of first time home buyers are families, and switching from being a renter to an owner is a daunting process, let alone when trying to find a home specific to family needs. You must avoid potential pitfalls, such as buying too large a house that you might end up not being able to afford, or investing in an older home that has repairs or renovations that keep popping up. Keep these five things in mind when shopping for your first family home.
- First things first. Attaining a pre-approval letter is an excellent idea: This step means you’re provisionally approved for a mortgage. In addition to making an offer on a home stronger, it gives sellers confidence in you, especially as new buyers, and lets you know approximately how much house you can afford. Starting this process is one of the essential steps in finding your family home. You need to know how much home you can afford versus how much space you need for your family. Try to begin putting a budget together by utilizing a home mortgage calculator. This will let you know an approximate monthly commitment, and how you can adjust that for features you need in your home.
- Does the floor plan fit my family?: For younger children, think about if you want a home with stairs. For nightmares or middle of the night check-ins, you may not want to be separated by stairs, so you should keep that in mind.Another addition is space. One key consideration is space when upgrading from an apartment. Does your floor plan involve room for toys and perhaps potential future family members? If you live somewhere chilly, do you want to have a playroom to keep the fun going?
- How well do I know the neighborhood?: Is the community you’re moving to safe? Do you want a path that’s convenient for strollers? How about your neighbors? Are there other young kids, and during commuting hours, are the popular routes around the home busy?Make it a point to visit a prospective neighborhood often and at varied times to see the outside factors of your potential home. Many home divisions will sponsor a page about the different communities in the area, like Eaglewood Homes.
- What is the yard like?: In an age where screen time seems to be a daily part of life, outdoor needs are often forgotten about. But I want you to remember when you were little, and going outside was magical and so much fun that you never wanted to be inside on a nice day. You’ll want to keep the yard in mind when looking for your new family home. If yard space comes at a premium, consider the walking distance to a playground.
- Am I satisfied with the schools?: Although school days could be a few years into the future, you’ll want to consider the schools and early learning programs available in the area of the home. This goes back to commuting times if you plan on driving, how busy or if there’s an available and safe walking path, and if there’s a bus route, and how long it could take. Look at the quality of the schools and perhaps look into baby or tot groups for early learning and parent socializing opportunities.
Finding your perfect home is an exciting adventure. The best home for your family requires a bit more research, no matter if the kids are arriving soon, school age, or in their teenage years. Keep these five things in mind when shopping for your first family home for a better shopping and living experience.