Top tips for House Hunting When You’re Expecting
Searching for a family home is one of the most important decisions that you will make.
House hunting can be exciting yet overwhelming and exasperating at times; this can be particularly true when you are expecting your first child. Whether you begin your property search at the beginning or end stages of pregnancy, there is a sense of urgent excitement that can often hinder one’s rational thinking.
But never fear! Follow my 5 top tips for house hunting when you’re expecting to help you find your perfect family home:
1. Don’t rush.
Even if you are in the latter stages of pregnancy, and your nest-building instincts have kicked in, take your time. If the properties that you view don’t feel ‘right’ keep a level head as there is always a solution. It is so easy to plump for a property that ‘will do’ because you have a time limit. However, renting a property for the first 6 months of your baby’s life is absolutely possible and puts you in an advantageous position when you resume your property search. It is very feasible to view properties with your baby in a sling whilst holding a coffee in one hand and property details in the other. You may bring a fresh perspective to the process and your wish list could well have altered slightly. With all your finances in place and a solicitor ready to go, you will be the buyer that all vendors are looking for.
2. Living space.
This will never be so important as when you have children. They grow very quickly as do their toy collection. If your budget allows, always go for two reception rooms over one. If this is not possible, try to find an area within the living room that will allow for ‘child’s space’. You won’t regret this. When you start a family you spend most of your awake hours (and there will be plenty) in the living areas of the house. If you have to choose between larger bedrooms and larger living space always opt for the latter.
3. Outside space.
Ideally, this would consist of a garden (however small) that is easily accessible and viewable from your kitchen/main living area. It is often suggested that outside space can add 10% or more to the value of your home. Furthermore an accessible outside area increases your ‘living space’ during the summer months: an invaluable resource for a family. Additionally, a park or common within walking distance is an important consideration. You will value being able to take a stroll surrounded by green, open space in the early days of parenthood whilst you will be even more grateful for its proximity when your little one has discovered the endless fun to be had from running here, there and everywhere.
Some buyers are fortunate enough to be able to purchase their ‘forever home’ early on in life. However, for most of us that will not be the case. Hence it is important to consider your first family home as an investment, so choose your location wisely. Homes near to good transport links will always be in demand and will allow a property to hold its value. Look for areas that are within walking distance to either a tube station or overground station, which will benefit you as a family yet will also be appealing to future buyers. Equally, it is never too early to be thinking about your child’s education. Do a little research into the schools in the area and don’t be afraid to ask other local families for their opinions. Lastly, an area that has a selection of inviting coffee shops, cafes and restaurants within walking distance, where you can grab a fresh coffee or a spot of lunch, is invaluable.
5. Downstairs WC!
This might seem a little trivial, but to have a cloakroom within easy reach of your main living area is immensely convenient and practical, particularly when your little one is ready to start potty training. As a parent, life should be made as easy as possible so do bear this in mind during your property search. It does not mean, however, that you cannot buy a property without a downstairs loo, which is otherwise perfect. Instead, if one does not already exist, try to ensure there is the space (and the budget) to create a downstairs WC when the time comes. You won’t regret it!
If you would like any assistance with your property search please visit www.nplhome.co.uk or call Harriet Rowlands on +44 (0) 782 532 1564 to discuss your property search requirements.