Buying a house is exciting, stressful, time-consuming, expensive … and you could insert dozens of other words. Nobody would dispute that it takes a lot of energy to buy a home at all, and the last thing you want to do is have to sell it and buy another in three to five years when your young family has grown.
Real estate experts encourage young couples to purchase homes with kids in mind, instead of simply purchasing based on where they happen to be now. This can save a lot of time and unnecessary expense in the future.
Six Things You Should Think About
Katy, Texas is a wonderful place to raise a family. Not only are there lots of parks, attractions, and fun places to take children, but the community is utterly safe.
Lots of young families are moving into the area, which makes it a great place to meet friends and start an exciting community life. If you’re thinking of buying a home in Katy with kids in the picture, here are a few specific details you’ll want to keep on your radar:
- Go As Big as You Can Afford
Let’s begin this tip with a disclaimer: Never buy more house than you can afford. Once you’ve got that clear, you should go as big as you possibly can when you buy a home that’s intended to house children.
The last thing you want is to have your kids playing video games in the living room or storing their toys in the kitchen cabinets. Space provides sanity and ensures your children are able to play freely without always having to worry about being in the way.
If you can afford it, buy a home with a basement or upstairs bonus room. It lets you enjoy some peace and quiet on the main floor and cuts down on the clutter that might otherwise build up in the rooms you spend the most of your time in.
- Think Practically
The mistake a lot of young parents make is to buy a house with only square footage and number of bedrooms in mind. These details matter, of course, but they aren’t everything.
You’ll also need to think practically about the small things that can cause problems. For example, is there a large enough laundry room for you to handle everyone’s clothes?
Is the kitchen big enough for a large kitchen table? Is the layout conducive to putting up baby gates for crawling toddlers? These are items that don’t always come to mind immediately when you’re touring a house, but try to be extra cognizant of them.
- Consider Proximity to Work
You need to think about where homes are located in relation to work and other places where you spend lots of time. Arranging for a short commute to and from work create a lot of flexibility and allow you to spend more time with your kids.
“Knowing that at times you may need to rush home for a sick child, take your lunch break at home or to drop one off with the babysitter or daycare, or to a practice or school in the future, having a quick commute to work would make every new parent’s life easier,” says Linda Carnavali, a real estate professional in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
You’ll have to juggle proximity with property values (it may be too expensive to live close by), but don’t ignore this factor altogether.
- Think About School Zones
It’s easy to ignore public schools when you have infant children, but they grow up quickly and suddenly you find yourself living in a neighborhood where the public school system is not among the best. Not only can this have a negative impact on your property value, but it has practical ramifications for the educational potential of your family.
No matter what stage of life you’re in — expectant couple, parents of a newborn, racing after toddlers, or caretakers of school-aged children — do the necessary research on school zones and choose wisely.
- Look for a Good Backyard
There will come a point when you just want your kids out of the house. Being able to push them out to a fenced-in backyard is a great way to encourage them to have fun while keeping them fairly safe.
One word of caution, though: a swimming pool may seem like a smart idea, but you need to take care. Pools can be dangerous and you’d be smart to keep an extra set of eyes on the kids when they’re playing in and around one.
It’s safer to construct a nice flat backyard with a play area.
- Research the Neighborhood
There’s nothing better for kids than to have other children in the neighborhood. This enables them to walk to a friend’s house, play in the cul-de-sac, ride bikes, and hang out at the pool with families you know.
Although you probably can’t know everything about a neighborhood, you should be able to get a pretty good idea of which ones are family-friendly. Look into garages and backyards as you drive by. Do you see toys and play equipment? Take a walk in the neighborhood after work and see how many families are out together.
Let Green Residential Help
It’s a smart idea to sell your current home before you buy another. You want to avoid getting stuck with two homes, ideally, and this allows for a much smoother search and transition.
Most homeowners go with a traditional commission-based agent, but we’d strongly suggest you consider using our flat-rate system. We here at Green Residential are considered the leading flat-fee real estate agency in the Houston area; we can potentially save you thousands of dollars at closing.
When you work with Green Residential, not only do you get access to massive savings, but you also work with an experienced agency that understands the Houston market thoroughly and can help you maximize your sales price and swiftly get your home under contract.
Interested in learning more? Give us a shout and we’d be happy to provide you with further information on how our process works.