It can be easy to get swept up in the headlines at the moment. House hunters searching for the perfect family home are beginning their search just as property prices are predicted to fall and interest rates are playing havoc with the figures.
While you must be aware of what the market looks like when you’re thinking of buying, it’s still worth taking the time to work out what you want from your next home. If you’re growing your family or you’ve simply outgrown the house you’re in, creating a list of considerations can be a great starting point for when you’re ready to make your next move.
To help, here are some top tips to narrow down your options and find your dream family home.
What’s the area like?
You’ll likely look at the location before you look at houses. When you have children, you’ll be looking for nearby parks, shops, commuter links so you can get to work easily, and other facilities that will keep the whole family occupied and happy.
But it’s schools that tend to be one of the biggest factors when it comes to finding a new family home. In some areas, Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ and ‘Good’ schools can be in demand, so moving to a house that’s close to a few good schools can be priority number one for a lot of families. After all, proximity to the schools is one of the main factors in bagging your children a place.
Also, what are the neighbours like? Are crime rates low? Is there a community feel? These are all things to bear in mind.
Consider renovation work
While it’s lovely to find a home that ticks all your boxes, the chances are that some work will need to be done to make it perfect for your needs. Might you need to knock a wall through to create one large bedroom? Do you have plans to extend the property at the back?
Whether you’ve found your dream home or you have something in mind and know what you need, it’s worth setting aside some budget to cover any renovation work. You might need to use your savings for these upgrades, or a loan could cover the costs – just make sure that you can keep up with the repayments if you do take out a loan. Keeping up with repayments can boost your credit score and will keep your finances on the right track.
Look at storage
The reason you’re looking to move is likely that you’re running out of space for everything. With children come toys, clothes and mountains of ‘art’ made in school and nursery. Add to that any equipment needed for your hobbies and you soon find that space is limited.
When searching for your next family home, look at the storage space that’s available in the properties you’re viewing. Can you picture where everything will go? Look beyond how the current owners have dressed the property and picture your belongings in there.
Is there room to grow?
Like visualising where everything you currently own will be stored, you’ll also need to think long-term. Is there room for your family to grow in the property you’re looking at? You might have young children now, but can you see them as teens in the house? Also, if you’re thinking that you might want more children in the future, this is something to consider as you’ll need another bedroom and even more storage.