Buying a new home can be quite an exciting endeavour – it symbolises a new beginning and a new chapter in your life. However, house hunting can often seem like a daunting and stressful process, especially when you don’t really know what you are looking for. Once you start having children, your needs become vastly different from when you were a young couple, so instead of simply finding the cheapest one bedroom apartment, now you need to balance out a lot of factors, including affordability, space and location. So, to make the process of buying a home a little bit easier for you and your family, here are some important factors you should consider:
1. Be mindful of your budget
The first and most important step is knowing how much you can actually afford. When setting your budget, always think about your future. For example, if you are buying a home before you have children, you need to decide if both parents will continue to work after the baby is born, or if you need to base your price range on one income, instead of two. When deciding on a budget, it would be best to consider the “28/36 rule”, which states that your total housing expenses should take no more than 28 percent, and your total debt payments should consume no more than 36 percent of your monthly income.
2. Consider the size of your new home
While children need a lot of room to play and express themselves, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to opt for the largest home you see – simply a spacious family area, whether it be a living room or a garden, is more than enough. Bedroom size and number is less relevant, but be mindful of the fact that babies need a separate room, as they may disturb their older siblings’ sleep, and teens might need separate and larger bedrooms to entertain and have their own privacy. Remember that a big house simply means more space to maintain, more bills to pay and more things that could go wrong. So, if there is no real need for a large home, it’s always better to downsize and lessen your worries.
3. Choose the perfect location
When buying a family home, one of the most important things to consider is the location. Are you staying in your home country or are you thinking about crossing the border? Many people who live in countries like Australia, which have several climate zones, often opt to move to a part of the country with a more favorable climate when they start a family. Due to its warm and sunny weather and many great family suburbs, Brisbane seems like the most popular option. If you go south-east of Brisbane, you will find many beautiful houses for sale in Redland Bay that are ideal for families, as this suburb offers everything from zoos and animal sanctuaries to wonderful restaurants and incredible schools.
4. Get to know the neighbourhood
When you have children, a safe neighbourhood that has family-friendly amenities is always the best option. So, it might be best to consider areas that are close to prospective schools, near recreation options, such as recreation centers, pools, museums and gyms, or even neighbourhoods where a lot of families with children live, as they tend to be safer and more welcoming. Even though realtors aren’t allowed to share that information, make sure to do your own research and always check the school ratings, as well as the crime demographics in the area.
5. Pay attention to key safety issues
There are several things you should pay close attention to when buying a family home. Apart from inspecting the area, don’t forget to check the inside of the home, as well. For example, make sure that your new home has at least one bathtub to make bath times with your children easier, ensure that the staircases can be safely gated to avoid a hazardous environment for small children and always check if the backyard is securely fenced in to provide a safe playing area for your children. All of these things could pose potential threats to children, so always take your time to inspect a home carefully and make sure you are confident about your choice.
While there are endless factors to consider when buying a family home, if you pay close attention to the five guidelines mentioned above, you are sure to find an ideal home for you and your children, without having to make any compromises or sacrifices.
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