Kid-considerations when purchasing a home
Buying a home for a growing family is an exciting process, with many things to take into consideration. Your wants and needs are important, but kids have some requirements too, and they will change as they get bigger. This guide will navigate you through buying a home with kids so you can make the best selection for you and your family.
Take your kids house hunting- later
You probably don’t want to drag along kids of any age on an all-day house hunting adventure. But when the field is narrowed down to the final few, bring the kiddos along when you revisit the homes. This will give you valuable kid-level feedback. It is also a beginning step in getting them excited about moving.
If there is a final contender the family is leaning toward, take a few minutes after the tour to drive around the neighborhood, and maybe have lunch nearby. This gives everyone a chance to get better acquainted with a new area.
Research local schools
You’ll want to consider what schools are available in the area you are looking. The good news is, Otter Tail County and the surrounding area has many fine schools. Minnesota has open enrollment statewide, allowing students and parents to have access to schools that are not within their resident district. This program allows student enrollment from one school district into another. In many cases there is even transportation! This becomes very handy if your child develops a passion for a subject or sport not offered in the school closest to home. Their academic needs are fulfilled and you don’t need to move!
Our community pages give you a brief rundown of each town in Otter Tail County and beyond, including schools and area highlights.
Consider house size and layout
If you have already started to grow your brood, a bigger house may be in order. Many parents want infants close by at night, but what about when they get older? You may want a floor of separation between the kids and adults for privacy and your sanity. Another option is a designated playroom in a part of the house that has some sound separation from main living spaces.
Other key things to look for are size of the kitchen and dining area, number of bedrooms and number of bathrooms. Can the kitchen and dining area accommodate large family gatherings? How about a separate bathroom for the kids? You likely don’t want to share a bathroom with little ones…it will get old really fast. Also, does the kids bathroom have a bathtub? If you are planning a large family, a third bathroom might avoid traffic jams later on down the road.
Location for a family home matters. Often it is a balance between being close to schools or bus routes, but being on less busy road. A house on a cul-de-sac or side road may be safer for walking and bike riding than being on a main road. Is there a park nearby?
If you choose being in town, kids will be closer to cultural opportunities. Going a little farther out typically means more space and quieter roads, but the trade-off is being a little farther from town and services. However, in the country you are surrounded by nature and green space every day. Our small towns are a great balance, incorporating a strong sense of community.
There is no right or wrong choice when choosing a location, just things to think about when envisioning your family’s lifestyle in your new home.
Check the overall safety of the home
Some homes may have safety hazards for kids, so think through if a home you are considering can be child-proofed. Things to look for include whether stairs can be gated off or if there are appropriately spaced stair railings. What risks are outdoors, such as a pond, lake or pool? If so, is there is a fenced yard?
Whatever the safety issue is, determine if there is an affordable solution before putting the home on your short list.
Take the time to evaluate houses with your family in mind before bringing your kids on a tour. Look at details like neighborhood and think about your family’s lifestyle. With these considerations in mind, you can find a great family home, perfect to watch your children grow and thrive.