6 Things To Consider When Choosing a New Home for Your Family

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Shelter is one of the most basic needs that human beings have. However, a mere roof over your head is not enough. The home you choose for your family to live in needs to be safe, comfortable, and offer sufficient space, both inside and out. It also needs to be affordable.

Whether you are buying or renting, choosing a place for your family to live requires careful consideration. If you make a mistake, you will have to live with it for a long time. Here is some important guidance on choosing the right home for your family.

1. Home Style

The traditional single-family home is only one possible option. There are also multifamily options, such as apartments, condominiums, and duplexes. Sometimes you can buy one of these units, while others are only for rent, but the community may work with a multifamily utility company in either case.

A manufactured home may be a good option if you or a family member has special needs or if you already own an empty residential lot. Because they are built off-site and then moved onto the property, they can be customized according to your specifications. A manufactured home is often smaller than a traditional single-family home. This makes it more affordable, but it can also be difficult to obtain financing.

2. Yard

Many people focus on the home's interior to the exclusion of all else, but it is very important to take the home's outside area into consideration. On the one hand, the more land that your home sits on, the more maintenance and upkeep you have to perform. On the other hand, you often need outdoor space for recreation, especially if you have children or pets. Sometimes a condo offers outdoor common areas open to all residents with the maintenance already taken care of and paid for out of your condo fees. However, there can be restrictions on the use of these areas.

If you're renting a single-family home instead of buying, be sure to clarify with the landlord who is responsible for yard care before signing the lease. While owners of apartment buildings typically take care of the grounds, renters of single-family homes may be responsible for at least simple upkeep, such as lawn mowing.

3. Floor Plan

Obviously, your home should have sufficient space for your entire family in terms of the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. In this case, it is important to know how many children you plan to have and consider how important it is that each child have his or her own room. However, it is not only the amount of space that you should consider but the overall layout of the home. Are there steep stairs that could pose a tripping hazard? Are all the bedrooms on the same floor? Is the laundry room on the ground level? Is there enough storage space? Your preferences inform how the answers will affect your buying decision, but you should at least ask the questions.

5. Neighborhood

Unless you plan to move to a house that is very near where you live currently, you should make an effort to find out as much as you can about the neighborhood before you move there. Try to visit during different times of the day to check out the traffic situation. Walk the streets as well as driving around the neighborhood and gauge your emotional state. Are you content and relaxed or anxious and tense? Talk to people who already live there to see what they do and do not like about the area.

6. Schools

When you have children, or if you plan to have them someday, the quality of the schools in the area is another important consideration. It's not only the educational programs themselves, although obviously you should check these out carefully. You should also consider the logistics involved in getting your children to and from school safely.

When choosing a new home for your family, be careful to take your time. Start by looking at the neighborhoods where you want to live and then narrow down to individual properties. You probably cannot take months to decide on a home, but try to anticipate what it will be like in different seasons.

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