How to choose the right home for your family

*contributed collaborative post

Choosing a house when you have kids in tow, can quite frankly be a bit of a nightmare! Viewings, childcare, timings and your wishlist can create a bit of a monster task ahead of you. By contrast, when you think back, selecting a new home before little people invaded your life was a breeze. Things certainly get a little trickier when you’re no longer hunting for a party pad, but instead searching for a home that can accommodate your fast-growing brood.

One day you are busy caring for a sweet little newborn and have decorated your spare room as a nursery, and before you know it you’re tripping over little shoes abandoned on the floor and googling space saving bunk beds to try to bring a bit of order to your toy-strewn home.

If your home is beginning to burst at the seams then maybe it’s time to think about moving on to somewhere new, sounds simple right? Of course, deciding to move house is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, so if you are thinking of making a move here are some things to think about:

Home or Away?

Deciding where you want to live is the most crucial decision to make and the starting point for your house hunt. You may fancy the idea of starting over in a brand new area, either in the UK or maybe further afield. The idea of moving house opens up a whole world of possibilities – quite literally!

If you do fancy taking the leap and moving abroad, then the cost and logistics of seeing your families and friends at home are a significant consideration here. Whether you are planning on searching for perumahan indonesia (i.e. housing in Indonesia), or a house near the beach in Brittany, make sure that you have done plenty of research of the area that you are hoping to move to.

The Local Area

Once you have an idea of where you want to live, you can start narrowing it down much further to refine your search and give it some focus. Think about the area that you have chosen are there good parts and bad parts of it? What are the crime statistics like? The school catchment areas? Bus routes? Think ahead of your current state far into the future…it’ll be here before you know it.

Thinking about how you and your family like to spend your time is a useful way of getting an insight into what you want from the area. If your favourite family activity is visiting the cinema, then you may want to be near a leisure complex. Likewise, if your hobby is windsurfing then being within easy reach of the beach would be your perfect location. Living in an area that suits yours and your family’s lifestyle will save you both the time and money it takes to drive long distances to get to where you want to spend your time.

Take some time to think about what you love to do and where you spend most of your downtime, if you could be closer to it then you would, in theory, get to spend a little more time doing the things you love.

Size Matters

Whether you are choosing a property in Indonesia or Inverness, size matters when you’ve got kids, they may be small, but kids come with a lot of stuff, and so space is an essential consideration.

Think about how many bedrooms you realistically need, and whether you have plans to expand your brood further. If you are planning to move away from your current area, or even the country then think about how much space you need to accommodate any guests that may want to come and stay with you.

Even if you are unable to find anywhere with big rooms, look for built-in cupboards and the potential to fit your own storage to combat the clutter. There are loads of great storage solutions out there to tackle the sheer amount of stuff that kids accumulate.

Image credit: Pixabay

Outside Space

Getting the kids out into the fresh air and having some fun is always a bonus, so if you manage to find a home with enough outside space to swing a swingball, then you’re onto a winner, even more so if there’s room for a trampoline. Having a garden can be a real lifesaver during the school holidays and has the potential for loads of fun. Even the smallest courtyard gardens can be used for a spot of bug hunting, fun with outdoor chalks and hopscotch.

Depending on where you move to, a garden may not be a viable option. If this is the case, don’t panic, instead check out the local area for play parks, country parks, nature reserves, and recreation grounds, you’re sure to find somewhere that you will be able to take the kids to get some fresh air and burn off a little energy.

Schools

Before kids, you may have chosen a location for your new home based on how close it was to the best bars and restaurants, but once the kids are here, it’s all about schools. While you go through the house hunting process, it is likely that your conversations will revolve around Ofsted reports, catchment areas, and appeals processes. In lots of areas properties nearer to the better schools command a higher selling price. One thing to be wary of here is the importance of doing your own research. Don’t rely on information the estate agent or property websites tell you about catchment areas and the chances of getting into a particular school. You are much better checking the school’s admissions policies, catchment area maps and contacting the school for yourself to get a true reflection of the availability of school places in the area.

A Final Piece of Advice…

Unless you are travelling abroad on your house hunt, then you may want to get childcare sorted while you go to view properties for the first time. Then you can ask all the questions you want to and have a proper look around without interruptions. If you do decide it’s the right home for you then bringing the kids along to familiarise themselves with the property is a great idea.

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