03 Nov 2021
What to Look For in a Home if You’re Planning for a Family
The perfect house is many people’s dream, but when it comes to finding a home for you and your future family, the most important thing is that you find the perfect house for you.
Choosing the right place is paramount. You don’t want to end up in what turns out to be the wrong place and have to deal with the combined stress of moving house and moving your young family later down the line.
The thought of lugging the kids’ heavy toybox and potentially losing a beloved toy in the move is enough to inspire you to get it right first time.
You also need to consider that if you do move again later, your finances may not be at the peak they were before you started your family. Families cost after all, and you don’t want to end up trapped in a less than ideal home. In any case, our mortgage advisors will be here to help find what’s right for you.
Making a List of What You Need
You’ll have to ask yourself a lot of questions. Make a list of what you need and prioritise them accordingly. You may need to make sacrifices in order to attain the one thing you’ll refuse to compromise on. Here are some suggestions to think about:
Probably the most obvious and essential requirement. Working out the absolute limit of this will save time and disappointment. Budget will affect every other want you have in a home, from size to location. So, calculate your limits for things like deposits and everything that goes on top of that, including additional fees for solicitors, mortgage booking, etc.
It won’t hurt to think about the cost of running the house as well (bills, etc.) and if that fits into your current monthly budget. A bigger house may entice you, but it’ll cost more to keep lit, heated and generally alive.
House and Family Size
Some questions will be down to personal preference. How big of a family do you want? How many children do you see yourself having? You may be able to get away with a smaller house when your children are young, but as they get older or you have more children, you’re going to need to expand to a bigger place.
Depending on your circumstances you may be able to move into a decent sized home (three bedrooms or more) from the start, and then fill it up with a family. But these are very exceptional circumstances for the average person. Most will have to save and strategize a plan to move up the property ladder as circumstances improve (career growth, inheritance, etc).
Similar to house size, you’ll need to look out for features when viewing a property, to see if they match up to your list of priorities.
Is a decent sized garden a priority? Somewhere where the kids can play, and the adults can show off their green thumb or enjoy the Saturday morning ritual of mowing the lawn? A perfect place for sports and a paddling pool in the Summer and snowman building in the winter?
If a garden is not a priority you can always seek an alternative. Look for parks and leisure centres nearby.
A garage, driveway or guaranteed parking is also something to consider if you drive or have multiple vehicles. You may also want to think about where the house is located in terms of roads and traffic, this will be important for two reasons:
Noise – you won’t want traffic noise waking up your baby from a nap or disturbing your much needed sleep either! Consider this if you’re a light sleeper.
Safety – when the children are a bit older, you may worry about them crossing busy roads to get to school. So if you are a worrier, keep this in mind.
Schools and Location
Location might be dependent on your current circumstances, where your other relatives live and where you work. This also means how far you’re willing to commute to work and how far you can live away from relatives (future grandparents and aunties, uncles, cousins, etc.).
There are also schools and the school catchment areas to consider. Having multiple schools will be handy as you may not get your first choice.
You’ll also want to try and get a location that makes commuting to work and school runs blend seamlessly, if that’s at all possible. Whether that means a short drive, easy walking distance or good public transport links.
It’s not just the size of the house, number of bedrooms or having a garden or garage. There’s also the interior design, practicality of the layout and décor to consider.
If you’re someone who likes to make your own mark on a living space, it’s important to think about how much you’ll want or need to change. You might want to make each area personalised for each member of the growing future family. So, assess how much you’ll want to be redecorating when viewing a place.
Open Vs Closed Concept Homes
You’ll also have to think about actual space. Is your ideal home a new build with an open plan? Or is it an older or more closed space?
Babies need space for a lot of accessories; highchairs for feeds, play areas (and toys) to keep them wandering too far and all sorts of baby proofing safety measures like foam covers on sharp corners and gates on stairs.
If the homes you are looking for are open space, it’ll make it easier to keep an eye on young children whilst preparing dinner or washing up.
On the flip side, it’s nice to have separate living spaces or spaces that can be closed off. It’s thinking way ahead, but if you find your ideal home and stay there long enough until you have teenagers, they will need some separate space from the adults and younger siblings in order to study and hang out with friends. From baby proofing to future proofing!
Find Your Ideal Home and The Best Mortgage
We hope we’ve given you a few things to consider for your new family home. Of course, with a new home comes a new mortgage. If you’re looking for an online mortgage advisor, we at Mortgages Online can help find the best deals for you, suited to your needs. So, don’t hesitate to get in touch!