Buying a Kid-Friendly Home

When you have kids, or are planning to, buying a house is about more than your personal preferences. Safety is a top concern, as well as finding a place to create wonderful family memories.

If you’re looking for a new home for your growing family—or you have future plans to grow your family—here are some things to consider.

Floor Plan & Home Features

  • Do you want to be able to supervise your child while you’re in the kitchen? Consider an open floor plan. On the other hand, an open floor plan can make it more difficult to close off areas you don’t want a young child to enter. Decide which option works best for your family’s needs.
  • Is there enough room to play? Especially on those days when the weather doesn’t permit playing outdoors, an indoor space is key.
  • Is there enough closet and storage space for everyone’s clothes and possessions, especially as the kids grow?
  • Are the kitchen and dining area large enough to cook and serve meals with everyone seated at the same time? Consider that you may need extra room if the kids invite friends over.
  • Active kids mean extra laundry. Can the laundry room accommodate a large washing machine?
  • Are there steep and/or many stairs that could be difficult for children to navigate? Will they be difficult for you to handle when you’re carrying small children or bringing in groceries?
  • Can staircases be blocked off with safety gates when needed?
  • Are there countertops, built-in shelves or fireplace hearths with sharp corners?
  • Are wiring and electrical sockets out of the reach of young children, or can they be childproofed?

Yard/Outdoor Space

  • Is the yard large enough and suitable for outdoor play? Or, if you don’t want the upkeep of a yard, is there a playground nearby?
  • Is the backyard safely fenced? If not, consider the expense of adding a fence when deciding whether or not to buy.
  • Is the yard dog-friendly? If you don’t already have a dog, chances are your kids will beg for one at some point!
  • If there is a pool, are you willing to invest the time and money needed to maintain it? Are there appropriate safety features, such as a separate security fence and safety pool cover, to protect children?

Neighborhood

  • Are there other families with children on the block? Having neighborhood friends can be a wonderful experience for kids.
  • Visit the area around your prospective home at different times of day. What’s the traffic like during commuting hours? Is the street quiet at night, or noisy from nearby businesses and passing cars?
  • Are there safe places to ride bikes as a family, enjoy a walk, or stroll with the baby? Do you see other families out and about?
  • Check the local crime rate as well as offender lists.
  • Are the streets dangerously busy, making them unsafe to cross? Do you observe many cars speeding or ignoring traffic laws?
  • Do you observe dogs roaming loose in the neighborhood? This could be frightening or even dangerous for children, and inhibit your ability to walk your own leashed dog safely.
  • Is there a hospital nearby in case of emergencies? Is there a police presence?
  • Are there any polluting industrial facilities nearby that could affect your family’s health?

Schools

  • Do some research into the quality of the public schools your child would be attending. Do they meet your requirements?
  • If you choose private schools, look into the availability and cost of nearby options.
  • Are there early learning and afterschool programs available in the area?
  • Will your child have access to a school bus? If so, how far is it to the bus stop, and how long will the ride take?
  • If you plan to have your child walk to school (or to the bus stop,) observe the traffic and possible routes. Are there any potentially dangerous intersections or streets?
  • Do you plan to drive your child to school? Try the route during the commute time to test the traffic. You’ll be making this drive for years if you purchase the house, so make sure it’s do-able.

Searching for a family home in the Wichita area? Coldwell Banker Plaza Real Estate is here to help. Our agents know the Wichita real estate market and neighborhoods inside and out, and can help you find the perfect home for your family’s needs. Contact us today.

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