With realtors, agencies and the ever-so-handy internet classifieds, looking for a family home is relatively easy. It’s the final decision-making process that’s the hard part. There are so many different things to think about before just going with the best deal or the more popular area.
What are you looking for?
How big is your family? How big is your family planning to get? Do you have or want any pets? You need to keep these things in mind when deciding on a family home. You need to take in how many bedrooms you need to accommodate the immediate family and maybe still have a room for a study or spare bedroom.
Are you looking for a house in a security estate where safety is guaranteed (to an extent) but the houses are, basically, on top of each other? Or are you looking for a house on its own plot of land with your own garden? Or something more secluded like a house on a farm in the middle of nowhere?
Are you looking for a house that opens right onto the street or do you want to be surrounded by beautiful wooden fencing? Do you want a swimming pool? If you are sure of what you’re looking for, it will make house hunting an easier process where you can eliminate all the listings that are irrelevant to what you want and save yourself from aimlessly searching through every house for sale out there.
What can you afford?
Now, there may be a lot that you want out of a family home, but you need to be realistic about what you can afford. You also need to consider the future value of your house if you ever decide to sell it one day. Will you be building it up from scratch, making renovations to a simpler house or buy a house that fits all your criteria?
With regards to the latter, you then need to be sure of the condition of the house. Just because it falls into your budget and is in a suitable area, doesn’t mean that it has suitable living conditions. Make sure to crucially inspect the houses you view to make sure there are no fundamentally flawed aspects regarding infrastructure, electrical and plumbing set-ups.
You’re putting a lot of money (and potential debt) into this house so you need to be sure about it. The next thing to consider is whether you can afford (and are in an acceptable financial position) to buy a house or if you would rather rent one. There are pros and cons to both and, besides what you can afford on just a house, you need to consider what will suit your current and future lifestyle as a family.
What about the area?
Once you know what you’re looking for and can afford, it’s time to consider the area you would be moving into. Take your daily commutes into consideration. What is the distance to get the kids to school and then to get yourself to work? Is the pretty house worth the travelling in traffic? Furthermore, will your kids be able to get into that school if you end up not living in the more immediate areas?
Also, for convenience, is your location with regards to family and friends. You don’t want to be living so far away that visiting becomes a mission. Or you don’t have any quick contacts to call for babysitting when it comes to date night.
But work, school, friends and family are, as mentioned, more for convenience. Safety, however, isn’t a convenience, it’s a necessity, especially with the rate of crime of today. Your best bet is in some sort of security estate, but that could also fall out of your budget. Do your research on your ideal area and look at the history of crime there and in the surrounding areas. Find out if there is a neighbourhood watch – this is really important and has proven effective in many neighbourhoods.
At the end of the day, there will always be a level of risk. But the more comfortable and safe you feel in an area, the better the place it will be to build your family home.
You can also find out more about the local community. The events held in the area, the public government buildings and the general vibe in the town.
It’s all about the memories
A family home is built by the memories you make in them. Everything else is a matter of convenience for getting the kids to school, the safety of the area or the association that comes with being in a specific area. But making family memories is what turns that house into a home.