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Buying a house is a little more complicated when you are looking for a place to raise a family. A single person – or even a couple – may be willing to settle for a slightly smaller home, or one in a neighborhood that is ‘up and coming’ or undergoing gentrification. It could be rather problematic , however, to raise children in such an environment
If you are shopping for a home that is ‘child friendly’ parents or home buyers who are planning to start a family should keep these four important considerations in mind when viewing homes.
Size Really Matters
Size really is one of the most important considerations when buying a home for a family. Children tend to be boisterous and a little rowdy. They like to run around, spread out their stuff, and turn much of the available living space into their personal play area. A home with minimal space to play can therefore affect a parents’ sanity.
On the other hand, in a home with a larger living room—as well as rooms that can become extra bedrooms—a playroom or a game room will be better suited to help kids thrive. Even if you don’t designate one room for play, an extra room can be an adult haven away from all the kid stuff.
In addition to the size of the house consider the size of your family and how you function as a whole on a daily basis.
If everyone is on the same schedule, are the kitchen and dining room large enough to be able to cook and serve meals with your family—plus any friends your children may want to invite over—with everyone seated at the same time?
Will the laundry room be big enough to fit a large washing machine, which is a necessity when there are active children around?
Are there enough electrical sockets for all the computers, televisions and electronic items you and your children use? (And that is probably a lot.)
Is there enough storage and closet space for everyone’s things, particularly as your children grow up?
Safety Concerns In and Around the Home
Every parent wants their children to be safe, both when they are inside their home and in the neighbourhood that surrounds it. When it comes to a home’s interior ask yourself all of the following questions as you view each home you are interested in:
Is it important to have an open floor plan in which you can supervise your children while in the kitchen? Or, if you have young children, will an open-floor plan make it difficult to childproof your home and stop your children from accessing dangerous items?
Will stairs be hard – or even dangerous – for toddlers to navigate?
Do countertops, tables and shelves have sharp, dangerous corners? If so can they be modified?
What about the wiring and sockets? Are they all out of the reach of children? If not, can you childproof them?
If the property has a yard or a pool, is it surrounded by a fence?
Outside the home you should do some Googling to find out what the crime rates/types are in the neighbourhood as well as finding out where the nearest hospitals, doctors offices and convenience stores are.
Then there are the schools. Are there educational institutions nearby that meet your requirements? If not, are there better options that they could commute to? Are there after-school care options available? And what are the outdoor rec facilities like? Are there safe playgrounds and open spaces to play? What extracurricular activities are on offer and how much do they cost?
In the end, finding for a child-friendly home does not need to be a huge challenge. Paying a little more attention to finding a house with the right features will help you feel confident that you’ve found a home in which your children feel safe, nurtured and respected—and can thrive.