A few years back, the entire Mama Fix team was looking for houses to raise our families in (separate houses, although we would love to live together in one massive compound if that was an option or at least on the same street). The hardest part of looking back in 2014, none of us actually had families yet. We couldn’t imagine how our little monsters were going to change our lives (and our homes). While a large closet in a guest room didn’t seem like a priority, all it took was one look at the baby swag we got from our showers to realize bedrooms with huge closets was a huuuuge priority. Which is where the expert comes in, Jennifer Cohn Nierman from Gardner Realtors is sharing with us some questions you should ask yourself when buying a home you plan to share with kids (either the day you move in or in the future!) – some of these tips are specific to New Orleans but are all questions you should ask yourself before signing on the dotted line.
What to Consider When Buying a Kid Friendly Home
By Jennifer Cohn Nierman
Searching for a home as a single person or even a married couple can be a challenge. But throw in thinking about raising a family in that space and it’s a whole new ballgame! Here’s a short list of things to consider when purchasing a kid-friendly home.
Now that it’s not just the two of you anymore, your home needs enough space for both adults and kids… and kids need a lot of space!
- Is it large enough to cook family meals?
- Is there room for a dining table to fit the whole family?
- Does it have space for your little one(s) to play? If not, is it open to a play area?
- Even though your little one won’t need much space storing clothes, their toys
need space too!
- It can be hard to find a house in NOLA with amazing closets, so if you find the
perfect home but it doesn’t have good closets, ask yourself “Is there enough
space for a great built-in or shelving unit to keep everything organized?
- A laundry room has now become more important, especially if you have a
newborn baby or messy toddler. Well lets face it, whatever the age your child is, they are ALL messy!
- A laundry room would be great, but a laundry closet can work too. As long as the laundry is inside of the house you can probably make it work.
- It would be great to buy a home with a bedroom for every child, but let’s face it,
houses are expensive! You may need to consider having your kids share a room
while they’re young, and as you grow as a family and in your career, hopefully
one day you’ll be able to afford that larger home.
Before kids, you may have wanted to live near work or your favorite bar. Now that you have kids in mind, you need to consider more boring — I mean practical! — conveniences, such as:
- How close is the house located to the school we want to send our children to? (The New Orleans school system is different from most cities. Many people choose to send their children to private or charter schools. School districts aren’t as important in this system. But you will need to live in the same parish as your desired school, at least.)
- How close is the nearest grocery store?
- Where is the nearest park to play in?
- How close is the nearest hospital?
- Before you had kids, you probably wanted to live as far away from your parents as you could. But now they are free childcare and can be extremely helpful to have around. You may want to consider how far away their home is, too.
- New Orleans is a tricky city when considering crime. My advice is to always look this up online. Ask friends or co-workers who may be more familiar with a certain part of town.
- Many parents prefer not to be on a busy street where cars are constantly driving by at high speeds.
- Potholes and bumpy streets now serve a positive purpose! They will slow down cars driving by your house, adding to the safety of your children.
- Beware of homes with multiple levels. When buying a two-story home make sure the steps aren’t too steep.
For many buyers, a yard is a must when purchasing a kid-friendly house, but there are many safety features to consider:
- Make sure there is a secure fence.
- If you have a swing set, make sure it’s sturdy and rust free!
- Be sure to properly maintain your yard to keep mosquitos and other pests at bay.
- If your backyard has a pool, be sure to have a kid-proof fence around the pool.