When the nest is the right size now, but a new baby is soon to enter the picture, it’s time to go house hunting. But if it’s your first visit from the stork, or even the second, you may be wondering just what kind of a place you’ll need for your little ones to grow up in. Well, we have good news—it turns out Realtors are experts not only at understanding the complex world of home buying, but they know exactly what you should be looking for when you need a baby-friendly abode.
What your Realtor wants you to know about buying a home for your growing family
There’s so much to think about when a baby is on the way. Chances are you’re sweating questions on issues you may not encounter for years, even decades. After all, a home that’s ideal for two often isn’t perfect for three, not to mention you’ll want to consider the quality of schools in the area, what kind of parks are nearby for those picture-perfect playdates and, of course, safety is a huge concern for your sweet little bundle of joy.
So, what does it all boil down to? It’s time to check in with the real estate experts. Here are the best tips from Realtors on how to house hunt with a baby on board.
Don’t diaper-pin your hopes on a quick decision
You’re under a lot of pressure these days, and when such a big lifestyle change is imminent, you may be tempted to jump on a home simply because you need one. Realtors say it’s best to hold off and make a thoughtful decision, so you don’t lock in on a deal you’ll regret before the little one takes her first steps. Take a step back and think about what you really need for your growing family. Give yourselves time to consider your options. And remember, a new baby doesn’t need much space, really, so extending your time in a smaller place may offer you just enough flexibility to avoid locking in on a rate that’s less than ideal or putting an offer down on a house that isn’t a fit.
It’s all about the neighby, baby!
Yeah, we’re taking some liberties with the language there, (but how tired are you of hearing, “location, location, location” all the time?). The neighborhood is a huge consideration for growing families. School may seem a long way off now, but you may be surprised how much time flies. You may be in the same house in five years, in a neighborhood with schools that are less than ideal. So for your peace of mind, look at homes in neighborhoods known for great schools. Then check out the neighby (see, it’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?) at all hours to get a true feel for it.
Check the layout before you pay out
That formal dining room may look like a really great place to entertain, and maybe the thought of having your own space on the main level sounds great, but it’s important to also think about how you’ll use your space, realistically, on a daily basis. If baby’s bedroom is upstairs, and yours is down, you’ll be getting a lot of steps in when the baby monitor goes off. And that formal dining room? Well, it might turn out to be a great play room instead. You’ll also want to consider how easy or difficult it will be to keep your eyes on the little one, once she starts to crawl and, not long afterward, walk. Can you gate off the areas that will be ideal for you and baby? There’s a lot to consider.
Watch out for hazards
Besides the gate-ability of your space, you’ll want to look for several other baby-related safety issues. For example, any home built prior to 1978 should be tested throughout for lead which can cause serious health issues for children. A smart homebuyer will also hire an inspector to check for radon and infestations, like termites, in addition to examining the electric, the roof and the rest of the home. If the inspector does find issues, you’ll be able to do the math on how much it will cost to make your home great for baby, and you.
At last, you’re home!
With a little timeline flexibility, and a lot of know-how courtesy of your Realtor, you’re sure to find the ideal home in which to raise your family. Chances are you’ll be grateful you took time to make sure you got the right home, in the right condition, in the ideal neighborhood, long after your offer is accepted.
Happy house hunting, and happy baby bunting!