15 Things Families Need to Consider When Looking For a New Home
There’s always a lot of things to think about when you’re buying a new home, depending on your stage in life. If you’re a first-time buyer your needs are different from someone looking to downsize. And if you’re looking for a family home, there’s even more to consider, so we’ve pulled together a guide to the 15 things you need to think about when selecting your family’s next home.
The quality and proximity of local schools is a huge factor in house prices for a reason. If you’ve got a family, you want your kids to be able to go to the best schools, so finding a home in the right catchment area is the goal. Being just outside the catchment area can make it harder to get into the most popular schools as places can be so competitive.
So you always need to do your research into what schools are close to you, both for the convenience of the school run but also finding out their OFSTED rating and what parents think of them. You may also want to try and visit the school to see what it’s like before basing your home purchase on being close to it.
Kids love playing outside and it’s good for their mental and physical wellbeing. For parents it’s also a great way to tire them out so they’ll go to sleep nice and quickly, making it a win-win, so another factor to consider is where the nearest green space is. A home with a garden gives you this but a local park offers wide open spaces and play equipment as well as the chance to meet up and socialise with other families. Having a home in the countryside also offers cleaner air and a closer link with nature for your kids to grow up with.
This is key for buying a home at any stage of your life but families need good transport links in particular. Whether it’s for commuting to work, school or college, or nipping to the shops, the gym, the leisure centre or travelling wider for a day trip or holiday, having easy access to local facilities, motorways, public transport and cycle lanes are all potentially important and worth checking out.
Having a park nearby is important but you also need to consider what else is available in terms of activities to keep kids happy and busy. Are there Scouts and Brownies groups in the area? Is there a swimming pool nearby? What local junior sports clubs are there? And don’t forget yourselves, it’s worth considering what local cinemas, pubs, bars, restaurants and coffee shops there are around your potential new home.
When you’re a first-time buyer having a driveway or garage to park your car can be a ‘nice-to-have’ rather than a necessity. However, when you have a family, it becomes much more of an essential because you don’t want to be spending time walking back and forth juggling a pram, a baby, shopping and other bags every day because you haven’t been able to park right outside your house.
Families come with a lot of stuff and stuff needs a lot of storage space. Whether its baby clothes and nappies or the books and toys that kids accumulate as they grow older, you’ll need to find a place for everything or risk your home becoming overwhelmed with clutter. Laurus homes come with plenty of storage space and flexible options to help you avoid this situation, so make sure you factor storage into your requirements.
How many bedrooms do you need for your family? Of course, the answer is dictated in part by how many people are in your family, but there’s other practical considerations to factor in. Your budget might not stretch to a bedroom each if you have a large family, so you need to think about who could share a room – and for how long.
The pandemic has changed the way many of us work forever and this has had an impact on what we need from our homes, with a specific room acting as an office becoming an essential rather than optional part of our plans. Within a family home, finding a quiet place to work is all the more important, so an extra bedroom may well be used for this rather than as a spare room.
Another impact of the pandemic is that we’ve spent much more time in our homes and have needed to find flexible ways to use them for more and more different aspects of our lives. Society may be opening up again but having a home that can adapt to our changing needs has become crucial. If your spare room isn’t a home office what else could it be? A home cinema? A gym? A yoga studio? With the right home, the choices are yours.
Any family with teenagers can tell you that just because you share a home with someone, it doesn’t mean that you actually see them very often. This is another factor to consider when looking at new homes. At Laurus we know the importance of family time so build in open plan spaces around the kitchen and diner areas that will encourage your family to spend time together there. So, it’s crucial when looking at homes that you are thinking about how you could use the space to bring people together, including friends and wider family.
If you have young children, it’s crucial that you think about their safety both inside and outside of the home. Laurus homes are built to the highest spec and are covered by the NHBC Buildmark warranty, giving you peace of mind and confidence. With very young children you’ll also want to identify where stair gates, etc can be installed.
Moving home is rarely stress-free, especially with a family involved, but there are ways that you can minimise the stress. Building a new build means getting a blank canvas with much less DIY to do once you’ve moved in, allowing you to enjoy your new space with your family instead of having to knock down walls or get the rewiring done. If you’re selling your existing home, you can also take advantage of our Move Easy scheme to make that process much easier, allowing you to focus on planning your move.
Looking for a new home with a family may well mean involving children in the process. This makes it all the more key to know before you get started exactly what you can afford. Working out your budget and what additional costs will be involved will help you avoid falling in love with a home that ends up being out of your reach. It’s also worth looking into what options there are to help you, including Shared Ownership.
The queue outside the bathroom door in the morning is a cliché of family movies, but it’s also an accurate depiction of the scene in real homes on weekday mornings when there’s kids getting ready for school and parents getting ready for work. With a large family you need to try and avoid this by having multiple bathrooms, including en-suites and downstairs cloakrooms.
Buying your new family home means spending time focusing on what your needs are right now, which presumably aren’t being met by your current home. However, you also need to future-proof your home by thinking ahead to how your needs might change and what impact that might have on your living situation. If you’re still planning on having more children, you need to factor this into your plans to avoid needing to move again when that happens. If you have older teenagers who might be going to university or moving out, this might also impact your long-term vision for how much space you need.
Buying a new home for your family is really exciting time and there’s few better feelings than seeing your kids exploring their new rooms and garden. If you’ve considered all of these elements you should be ready to find the perfect new home for everyone. Laurus Homes has a wide range of ideal family homes at our developments across the North West, why not get in touch with our team to find out more?