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7 Must-Read Real Estate Tips for Expecting Parents

Aug 21 8 minutes read

Being an expecting parent can be a wonderful and exciting time, but it can also be stressful. There are so many details to work out, and many parents find themselves with questions about the right real estate moves. You might want to get into a larger home, and that’s a great idea—but when a new member of the family is on the way, the pressure is on!

We get it. That’s why we compiled these seven expert tips to make this as smooth a transition as possible. Check them out.

Tip #1: Get the timing right.

What’s the right timing for buying and selling real estate when you have a child on the way?

Start as soon as possible. While the current market favors sellers, real estate timelines can be unpredictable. A nine-month pregnancy might seem like a long time, but you’re not going to want to be making big moves or stressful decisions as the due date gets closer.

The same applies for adoptive parents. While adoption timelines are usually longer, they’re also more unpredictable than pregnancy timelines. According to the National Adoption Foundation, “Adopting a foster child can take 6 to 18 months. Adopting a newborn can take 2 to 7 years. International adoptions can take six or more years” (National Adoption Foundation). A key point to note is that those numbers cover the beginning-to-end process. If you’re here, chances are that you’re much further along and you have less time until your new family member’s arrival.

No matter how your new bundle of joy is coming into your life, you want to be settled in and feeling comfortable in your new home by the time they arrive. That means starting early. If you have a home to sell, list it right away with an expert real estate agent who can sell on your timeline. Then move on to tip #2.

Tip #2: Nail down your budget.

The best way to do this is to talk to a trusted lender—and several is better. Mortgage rates are high right now, but you can save over $5,000 by getting multiple quotes.

Not ready to talk to a lender? You can use Google’s Purchase Budget Calculator to find out what your approximate home shopping budget is. You’ll need to know your monthly expenses (minus your house payment), your household’s total income (that you’ll use to qualify), your credit score, and your downpayment amount. This tool is easy to use—just enter your info, and it will give you your estimated budget in addition to the mortgage amount. 

Tip #3: Decide on your perfect location.

This is especially important for first-time parents who are making a big lifestyle change—but anyone buying a new home has to carefully consider the location before making a purchase. Why? First, because you’re going to spend so much time there, it’s important that you enjoy it. Second, the location is one of the only things about your property that you can’t change. You can modify aesthetics, landscaping, and even square footage in most cases—but you can’t change the location.

When you’re making your must-have list, ask yourself: what community features and aspects are the most important for you? Is it important that there’s a lot of green space, parks, or playgrounds near your home? Do you want a walkable neighborhood? Do you want to live near someone you know or in a certain part of town? Rank location factors in order of importance so you know where to start your search. You can also research anything that you feel will have an impact on your family—such as traffic, crime rates, nearby schools, and more—in areas that interest you.  

Tip #4: Size for the future.

If you have a baby on the way, you’re probably thinking about fitting a nursery into your house along with the other areas you need, like your office and any guest rooms. But babies aren’t babies forever, and it’s likely that you’ll want more space when your bundle of joy is zooming around your home. If you plan on staying in this home for more than a few years, you’ll also want to think about the needs of older children—like space to do their schoolwork and hobbies, store their own belongings, and have privacy.

Additionally, consider your plans for the future. Do you have or want more than one child? Do you want pets? Is there a chance you’ll be adding aging family members to your household in the future? If so, you’ll need more space and generally, more bedrooms. If this home is in the long-term game plan, it’s important to consider your long-term plans and size accordingly. 

Tip #5: Consider the layout.

Besides location and size, some parents like to consider the layout of their new home when they’re house hunting. These are some important questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you want the bedrooms and the primary suite on the main floor? Many parents of babies and young children want this feature so they can easily check on the kids at night. It also prevents you from having to make multiple trips up and down the stairs every day with toys, laundry, and more. Some parents choose to forego stairs entirely and buy a single-story to home for convenience.

  • Do you want open sight lines? Although homes with separated spaces are coming back into style, many parents still prefer open floor plans because they allow for clear sight lines. In an open concept home, when you’re in the kitchen, you can see a child playing in the living room. Also consider sight lines into the yard and anywhere else you anticipate your kid(s) spending a lot of time.

Additionally, consider your plans for the future. Do you have or want more than one child? Do you want pets? Is there a chance you’ll be adding aging family members to your household in the future? If so, you’ll need more space and generally, more bedrooms. If this home is in the long-term game plan, it’s important to consider your long-term plans and size accordingly. 

Tip #6: Incorporate kid-friendly features.

Once you have your ideal location, size, and layout figured out, add kid-friendly features to your must-have list. What features are kid-friendly? That depends on the needs of your household—but consider adding anything that will make your life with a kiddo easier (and throwing out everything that will make it more difficult). Need some inspiration? Check these out:

Top 5 favorite features for parents

  1. A conveniently located laundry room

  2. Built-in storage—and lots of it

  3. A fenced yard

  4. Flex space, like a rec room

  5. A security system

Tip #7: Work with an expert real estate agent.

Finding exactly the right home for your growing family is important—too important to leave to anyone but an expert. Choose someone who has extensive knowledge of the local area and a great track record of finding people what they’re looking for. How will you know? Check out reviews, ask around, and above all, follow your instincts. You should feel confident that you’re in good hands when you talk to your agent about what you’re looking for, what your budget is, and when you’d like to move. If you don’t, keep looking!

Is your family growing?

We’d love to help you find the perfect home to fit your growing family’s needs. No one knows this area better than we do, and we can find you the home you’re looking for inside your budget on your timeline.

Need to sell too? No problem. Our real estate agents will be there every step of the way to make this exciting transition as smooth as possible. 

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