What to Consider When Shopping for a New Family Home

3 Mins read

When you have a family, your home is more than just a place to live – it’s your refuge from the outside world. It’s the place where you make memories and build a life together. So, when you’re shopping for a new family home, it’s important to keep more than just your own needs in mind. Here are a few things to consider as you start your search.

1. Location

When shopping for a new family home, the first thing to consider is location. Where do you want to live? What kind of neighborhood do you want your kids to grow up in? Do you need to be close to schools or daycare? Consider your commute, both now and in the future. And don’t forget about things like safety, noise levels, and access to parks and other amenities.

You also want to consider the long-term when it comes to location. If you think you may want to move again in a few years, it’s worth looking for a place that will be easy to sell. That generally means avoiding highly specialized neighborhoods (like those designed for retirees) and sticking to more general areas.

2. Cost

In 2021, 36% of people who acquired a home paid for it entirely in cash. But for most of us, that’s not an option. You’ll need to get a mortgage, and that means considering the cost of your new home very carefully.

Your monthly mortgage payment will be based on the price of the home, but there are other costs to consider as well. Things like property taxes, insurance, and HOA fees can add up. And don’t forget about the cost of repairs and maintenance – a fixer-upper may sound like a good deal, but it can quickly become a money pit.

Before you start shopping, get pre-approved for a mortgage to know how much you can afford to spend. Then, stick to your budget. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of finding a new home, but remember – this is a long-term investment. You don’t want to end up house-poor and struggling to make ends meet each month.

3. Safety and Security

When you have a family, safety and security becomes even more important. You want to find a safe neighborhood where you can feel comfortable letting your kids play outside. And you’ll want to make sure your home is secure, with things like working locks and smoke detectors.

Neighborhoods have erected fences and other security measures to keep criminals out. According to statistics, these precautions were successful. For example, areas and homes with outdoor lighting were 7% less likely to be crime victims than those without it. So, when you’re looking at homes, pay attention to things like lighting and security features.

4. Size

The size of your home is another important consideration, especially if you have or are planning to have a family. You need enough space for everyone to live comfortably, but you also don’t want to end up with a house that’s too big and expensive to maintain.

Think about how your family might change in the future. Do you need a home with extra bedrooms for visiting family or friends? Or will your kids eventually move out, leaving you with an empty nest? Depending on your plans, you may want to look for a home that’s a little bigger (or smaller) than you need right now.

5. Landscaping

The landscaping around a home can impact both its curb appeal and its resale value. In fact, according to 75% of the top real estate agents, well-landscaped homes are worth anywhere from 1% to 10% more than comparable ones that haven’t been landscaped.

Don’t forget to check the condition of outdoor features like decks, patios, and fences. These can be expensive to repair or replace, so you’ll want to factor them into your budget.

As you look at different homes, keep these things in mind. With a little bit of planning, you can find the perfect place for your family to call home.

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