Don’t put in an offer to purchase without considering all the aspects of the property you think you may have fallen in love with. For example, you might be keen on that three-bedroom double storey.
However, you should probably walk away if it has too little cupboard space or backs onto a busy highway.
You should also be asking yourself if the layout that seems perfect for now will still work when your children are in their teens.
The estate agents’ mantra, ‘location, location, location’, still applies and continues to be an essential factor in buying any property. Proximity to amenities, schools, green space, scenic views and the neighbourhood’s status also feature prominently in residential property buying decisions.
Before starting your property search, make a list of what you need, what you could compromise on and what you should avoid at all costs.
For example, if you want to be on the same level as your children, you should avoid two-storey homes with stairs. Instead, look at single storey homes with open floor plans that allow family involvement while you are busy in the kitchen.
Make sure the layout is practical for carrying groceries - and small children. For example,
- steep stairs into the garage would be a no-no.
- Consider whether there’s ample space for toys.
- An indoor play area is key for rainy days.
Make a point of visiting your potential future home at different times of the day. For example, check if the roads are dangerously busy during commuting hours and whether nearby businesses are noisy at night.
Find out if there are other families with similar-aged children living nearby. If not, you may be surrounded by empty nesters or young couples who like to party.
Also, see whether there’s a safe place to cycle, run or walk with your baby.