1. Are the neighbors close in age? One of the greatest benefits of buying a home is getting to know your neighbors and having a true sense of community. But while neighbors of any age may be lovely people, having other young families on the block will go a long way toward creating a kid-friendly environment.
2. Is there adequate outdoor space? Buying a home with great outdoor area that’s safe for supervised play is a major win. If you prefer to have a home with less outdoor space consider a condominium or townhouse. A house with a smaller yard on a quiet street or cul-de-sac could also be a good choice, since you might be able to use the street as an extension of your front yard.
3. How are the schools? Your first instinct may be to look into the quality of the public school district—and you definitely should!—but if your kids are preschool age or younger, don’t forget to research nanny and day care options in the area. Do your research regarding school transportation including where the bus stop is, or what the walking path and/or driving route will be.
4. Is the kitchen large enough to accommodate the entire family? It’s often said the kitchen is the heart of the home, and for good reason. After all, you’ll be spending countless hours there over the years, whether you’re cooking and baking together, grabbing quick bowls of cereal in the morning, or working on school projects. A kitchen with an eat-in dining area, an island for bar stools, or even a desk area for homework time will give you plenty of room to do all of the above.
5. Is there a separate kids playroom? Open floor plans make it easy to keep an eye on kids while you’re in the kitchen, but a designated playroom off the living room or a finished basement helps keep toys in a contained area. You’ll still probably end up stepping on Legos, but having a dedicated room to store all those toys can help you keep the mess under control.
6. Is there a convenient entrance with storage? Kids of every age come with a whole lot of gear—from strollers and diaper bags during the baby stage to sports equipment when they get a little older. That’s why a mudroom or a large laundry room is ideal. It’s even better if it has its own outside entrance so older kids can drop off their stuff on the way in. If not, a foyer with storage space is a good alternative.
7. How’s the commute to work? Even the most perfect house isn’t perfect if you spend so much time getting to and from work you can’t help your kids get ready for school or see them before bedtime. Do a test run from any potential house to your workplace during rush hour.
8. Are there shops nearby? No matter how good you are at stocking your pantry and medicine cabinet, it’s inevitable that at some point, you’ll run out of diapers at the worst possible time or need to pick up medicine if baby spikes a fever. Having a grocery store or pharmacy a short drive or walk away will save you time and stress—especially if it’s open late.
If you have questions about buying or selling a home contact Lisa G 704-264-4941 or Liz B 704-607-9918