Once we become parents, we tend to exercise a higher level of care when making decisions – especially those that affect our kids. Choosing a home to buy and live in rates high on the list of choices that impact the whole family. When searching for your next home, there are a few things to keep in mind that can help ensure you and your kids will be happy at your new digs.
Remember that your number one priority always is and should be safety – and that safety applies to house hunting too! Choose a neighborhood and a home you and your children will feel safe in. As moms, we love taking our kids to the park so make sure you are comfortable and confident when doing so. You can also increase safety in your home by installing a home security system for a low monthly fee to give you added peace of mind.
Your neighborhood should have most of the things you enjoy in close proximity. For example, if you enjoy going to the park, cater your home choices around this requirement. Similarily, if strolling your baby to the local grocery or convenience store is important to you, then be sure to have this option available in your neighbourhood.
When choosing a home, it’s essential to make a checklist of “must-haves” – and try your best not to compromise them depending on their order of importance. If you enjoy the quality bonding time you have with your baby or toddler while giving them a bath, make sure you plan to purchase a home with a bathtub. Equally, if having a designated area for your child to play outside is a priority then make homes that have a backyard or patio area part of your search criteria. Part of your realtor’s job is to help you cater your search criteria.
Consider a mortgage-helper
As children grow the demands for added space increase. When looking to upgrade to a bigger place, yet staying within your mortgage pre-qualifications, get creative. Consider properties that may have a mortgage helper (one or two bedroom basement suites) to help supplement your income. You would be surprised at what you can afford by deciding to purchase a home with a mortgage helper or an in-law suite. Keep in mind that although there are legal suites (that you have to pay taxes on), most suites are unauthorized and you should speak with a lawyer about the legal implications of such a purchase.
An in-law suite can also be an added bonus if you find yourself hiring a live-in nanny. There are also condominium and townhome complexes that have on-site daycare facilities. If getting the kids to and from daycare is a concern and the price is right, take advantage of this option.
Alyssa Dotson of Alyssa Dotson Real Estate is an agent with Sutton Group Seafair Realty serving the Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley area.
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