Are you a parent considering buying a house? If so, there are some things you need to know first. Owning your own home is a huge responsibility, and it’s not something to take lightly. Before you make any decisions, be sure to read this list of 10 things parents need to know before buying a house. It might just save you from making a mistake that could cost you dearly down the road.
The costs of owning a home go beyond the mortgage.
When you buy a house, there are many monthly expenses associated with it.
Among other things, you will need to pay for the cost of repairs and maintenance, utilities (gas, electricity, water), annual property taxes, insurance (homeowner’s or renter’s), and association fees if you live in a community with a homeowners association.
Some of these expenses, like the cost of utilities or association fees, may not be reflected in your mortgage payment. Others will be included in the mortgage payment. But understand this: none of these expenses will disappear if you fail to pay them. They are all bills you must pay every month, or your home will suffer the consequences.
If you aren’t prepared to take on these responsibilities, you should wait until you are ready before buying a house.
You need to determine your family’s needs and wants before choosing a house.
Before you can choose the best home for your family, you need to know how many rooms you will need and the type of floor plan best suited for your lifestyle. Will one story or two work best? Will a four-bedroom house be enough, or is five a better number for your family size and needs? What about a two-car garage? Do you really need that, or will off-street parking work just as well?
Every family is different. Your needs are your own, and you should make your decision based on what will work best for your unique situation. You don’t have to live close to your family, but it’s a good idea to at least live near supportive people.
If you have friends or family in the area, they will likely be happy to help you out. However, it may be a good idea to go beyond that. When choosing a house, you should consider whether or not there are supportive people nearby who would be willing to babysit if you need them to. If there are, this is a good sign.
If you are close enough to people who are supportive of your family, you will be much less likely to experience feelings of isolation or alienation.
Get a home inspection before buying.
Before you make a final offer on a home, you should get a professional inspection. This will ensure that it hasn’t been damaged by water or termites. If the inspector finds something, you can negotiate a lower price based on those findings or back out of the deal without penalty.
If you don’t get a home inspection and later find out that the house has severe water or termite damage, you can lose thousands of dollars in the process.
You need to consider the cost of utilities before you choose a house.
Many people forget that they will need to pay for heat, air conditioning, and electricity in their homes. But if you choose a house in an area that is not well-suited for the climate, your home may require more energy to heat and cool. In some areas, power may also be more expensive, so you should understand what you will be paying for this before deciding.
You also need to consider the cost of water. It may be included in your monthly utility bill depending on where you live. Or not. If you’re not sure, ask your local utility company.
You should also understand sewer and garbage costs. Some areas may levy an extra fee if you use more than a certain amount of water per month.
How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need/want?
If you don’t know, consider how many people will live in the home. Do not forget about your family members! If your parents want to come and visit, do you have enough room for them?
Also, think about what people will be using the bedrooms for. If your mother is going to be visiting a lot, she will need a bedroom. If your children will share a room, make sure you have enough space for them.
When you have kids, It’s a good idea to know how many bathrooms you need in your new home. For example, is there more than one person using the bathroom simultaneously? If so, you will need more than one bathroom.
Another good reason to know how many bathrooms your house has is that you should know what kind of bathrooms to expect. If you have a large family, you may want to look for homes with larger bathrooms. Maybe you want two sinks or even a Jacuzzi. You need to know these things before you buy a home.
Is there enough room for storage?
You need to have a place for your family to keep their belongings. If you don’t, not only will it be more challenging to keep your home neat and tidy, but you may also find that things get lost or damaged if they aren’t stored properly.
When you enter a house, take note of how much storage space there is.
Do you see several cabinets and drawers? A pantry? Shelves in the garage? An attic or basement? A coat closet in each room is also helpful.
If it seems like there will not be enough storage space, you need to ask yourself if you’re willing to buy storage space elsewhere or if you even have the time and energy to do that.
You need to consider the age of the house.
Is it too old? Is it new enough? The age of a house matters because houses require different levels of upkeep over time. If you are new to homeownership, you may not know that older homes need more maintenance.
If the home is too old for your current household, you may find that it will require more work than you are prepared to do at this time in your life.
However, if the house is too new, you must consider how it will age. Will your family still want to live there in another ten years?
You need to know if there are other homes for sale in the area.
Is this a good time to buy? There is always another home for sale somewhere in the city. That said, some times are better for finding a good deal than others. If there are many homes for sale, you may find that the prices are lower.
However, many people want to buy homes at different times of the year for various reasons. For example, many people prefer to buy a home during the winter holidays because sales tend to be slow, and they can take their time looking at houses with minimal interruption.
Other people choose to buy during the summer when they are free from work commitments and can use their days off to look at homes.
In short, you need to know when it is an excellent time to buy a home in your area. You may also want to consider what else is going on in the housing market. Will interest rates be higher or lower next year? Do you want to buy a home now and sell it in a few years, or would you rather wait?
School district information is helpful.
If you have children, you must understand that each school district has different advantages and disadvantages.
Some districts are wealthier than others; others have a higher graduation rate. Some have different curriculums, and some have various extracurricular programs. You should know what your child needs from a school district and whether the area you are considering has what you need.
Some districts have a good reputation, while others do not. Some districts have a higher crime rate than others, and some do not. The school district information can be found online.
It’s a good idea to look up the school district where your potential house is located. If you have children, you need to know if your kids will go to school in this district. If they do, you need to know how the schools are.
Are teachers and students happy at the schools? Is it a big or small school district? Do the schools provide pre-K for free if you have younger children, or will you have to pay for it?
Research neighborhoods that fit your needs.
You need to know which neighborhood will best fit your family.
What do you want from a neighborhood? Do you want access to local attractions? A good nightlife scene?
A small-town feel or an active social scene? All of these are important to consider. Are there specific stores you want within walking distance? Are there good schools nearby?
For example, if you have kids and want a grocery store nearby, you’ll want to know where the nearest ones are. You should map out your daily commute and how long it takes you to get from home to the places you visit the most. You need to know how easy it will be to get everywhere you need to go and what kind of hassle it will be.
Make sure you have a job in place before buying a house. Buying a home is a big decision, especially if you are married with kids. Ideally, your job and your children’s school should be in the same area. You need to know how far you can commute to work. You also need to know how long it takes you to get home from certain parts of town.
Buying a home is an important decision. It will change your life forever, and it should be made carefully. You need to know how the home fits with your life, and you need to see if it is in an area that will be kind to your family.
You also need to make sure you can afford the home and whether your income is stable.
Generally speaking, if you are thinking about buying a home with someone else, you need to consider your needs. You should discuss what you want from a house before making any big decisions.
Brenda Tillman is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Practitioner, a dedicated mom blogger, and a life enthusiast. She also has completed courses on Parenting Skills, Learning, and Education. She is married and is the proud mother of a boy and two girls. She loves being with her family and pets. She has been blogging for over five years now and enjoys sharing her thoughts on parenting, relationships, health & fitness as well as other topics that come up in life.