buying your first home - what you should know

5 Tips For Looking For A New Home For Raising A Family

There is more to consider than just the school district or the location of the nearest busy road when you are buying a home to raise a family. The following tips can help you find the family-friendly home of your dreams when you are looking at real estate for sale.

Tip #1: Measure the Doorways

If baby gates are a safety feature that you will need, keep in mind that most pressure-mounted gates only fit doorways between 26 and 38 inches, with the few models that fit wider doorways costing more. You can usually get hardware-mounted gates for any size of opening, but these will require drilling and permanent installation in the wall. Not all homeowners want to do this for a temporary feature.

Tip #2: Watch for Stairs

Stairs are a major source of injuries, especially for babies and younger kids. If you do fall in love with a home with stairs, opt for carpeted stairs with wide landings, which work better to cushion or break a fall. Also, plan to install a wall-mounted baby gate at both the top and bottom of the stairs. Finally, check railings and banisters to make sure they aren't at a width where a head or arm could get easily stuck.

Tip #3: Go for the Extra Bathroom

If your budget allows, an extra children's bathroom is a good splurge. Children take over bathrooms, especially in the potty training years when toilets are fitted with trainer seats and step stools. A bathroom just for kids is also safer, since there is no need to keep medicine in the cabinet or cleaners under the sink – these can go in the off-limits adult master bath, instead.

Tip #4: Consider an Open Floor Plan

An open floor plan is a bonus when there are small kids in the house. You can easily supervise the kids playing in the living room while you are in the kitchen cooking. As the kids get older, you can park them at a kitchen table for homework while you continue to supervise from either the kitchen or living room.

Tip #5: Look at the Location

A home that is near major amenities is a must with kids. Knowing that there is a grocery store around the corner for forgotten dinner ingredients, a pharmacy nearby for a late-night ear infection, or an urgent care down the street for a strange rash can all work to make parenting easier. Contact a local real estate agent to begin your search for this perfect home.