Buying a home for an individual can be a difficult and detailed decision-making process. When you are buying a home for a family, that difficulty and level of detail increases significantly.
Individual family members each have his or her own unique and constantly changing needs that all need to be satisfied by a single real-estate transaction. This can be a tough situation. However, Contour Mortgage has the experience and the know-how to lead home buyers through this process. The key to making the right decision is in weighing all the family-related factors that go beyond basic real estate considerations.
From getting the right financing to deciding whether or not your kitchen has all the right upgrades, you must think ahead — far ahead — about how your family will grow, what it will need today, and what it will need 10 years from now.
Here are some considerations that should be part of your home-buying process:
- The long haul. Are you starting a family? Do you already have children? Do you plan to have more? Having an idea of how big a family is will help you determine how large a home you’ll need, how many bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen size, sufficient storage space needed, and even enough garage space.
- Activity level. Does your family like to stay active? If so, the home must provide adequate resources, such as a large yard, or basement or loft spaces that can be converted into recreation areas. If you tend to hang out in the home more often, ensure living areas are big enough, or that you have more than one place where family members can relax or play.
- Location, location, location. It’s one thing to buy into a good area in terms of your real estate investment, but location takes on even more importance when family planning comes into the equation. Ensure you’ll have the right education resources, as well as adequate parks and resources for families. Look for sports, arts and other local programs that will provide your children with good development opportunities and peer groups.
- The neighborhood. You’ll likely note a neighborhood with other families of similar ages so that your children will have plenty of playmates. Moreover, local parents will be key peers for you, as well. A good tip is to visit the neighborhood on weekends or on family-oriented holidays, such as Halloween, to get a sense of how many families live there.
- Home age can steer your search. As a rule of thumb, generally the older the home, or neighborhood, the more likely you are going to find older families, or perhaps even empty nesters. If you look at newer areas and newer homes, you are more likely going to find younger families and more of them.
- Safety. Ensuring a safe home, especially if your family has small children, is critical. How easy will if be for you to childproof kitchens, bathrooms and stairways? If the home has a pool or spa, have they been properly fenced, gated and covered to prevent accidents?
- Accessibility. If your family includes members have that have special access needs, ensure the home you are considering either provides the right access options, or can accommodate upgrades in the future. Remember that medical conditions and accessibility needs can change over time.
Take advantage of living in one portion of your home, while covering the mortgage expenses with rental income from the other portions of your property.
- Buy a 2 to 4 unit home to create rental income