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When you have an addition (or two) coming to your family, it often means you have outgrown your current home. However, moving to a new house that will accommodate your growing family can be a challenge. You want to make sure your new home will not only be suitable for your family today, but will also have additional capacity in the event that your family continues to grow in the future.
Here are four things to look for when buying a home for a growing family:
The Right Price: The first thing you want to make sure of is that your new home fits within your budget. A common mistake some young couples make is basing their budget on their current expenses. Keep in mind that when you buy a bigger home to accommodate new arrivals, you need to plan for not only a higher mortgage payment, but for higher household expenses as well. So when you speak with your mortgage broker about prequalifying, make sure you are not over-extending yourself.
The Right Size: The square footage of the new home is not necessarily as important as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You will need to have enough bedrooms for today with hopefully another room or two for when the kids get older and want their own rooms. It is also important to have more than one bathroom. Having only just want bathroom can put a lot of stress on a family of any size.
The Right Location: The neighborhood you move into will be a major consideration when you have children. When it was just the two of you, a one bedroom condo in the downtown area may have been perfect as it was close to work and within walking distance of the city night life. When you have kids, these priorities change significantly. Proximity to work suddenly drops on the priority list; you will now want to find a home in a relatively quiet and safe neighborhood that has a well-respected public school system.
The Right to Expand: It is good if your new home can accommodate your family today. It is great if your new home has the potential to accommodate your family even after you add a couple more children. Look for features such as a large basement that could be converted to an extra bedroom or a large lot that would allow for a structural expansion. In general, it is far less costly to put an addition onto an existing home than move to a new one.
These are some of the basics you should know when shopping for a new home as your family expands. Speak to a mortgage professional for more tips on what to look for when you need to find the right home for your growing family.