For young families, finding and buying the right house can be more complicated and all-around more difficult than it is for, say, a single person or a retired couple. A young couple has to consider not only their own needs and wants, but also the needs of the children they have are going to have. And that means taking into account factors and features that other buyers may not need to consider. So here are what we think are the top 4 things young families should look for in their Northern house.
1. Optimum Space
Probably the first thing young families should look for in their Northern house is the optimum amount of space. Basically, that means enough square footage to accommodate all their family needs, but not so much it becomes unaffordable. And that also means considering the size of your family in the future and determining your space needs before you ever begin house hunting.
Keep in mind, too, that the house you are buying now doesn’t necessarily need to have all the space you’ll need to have in the future. You can always trade up, or if your lot is big enough, you can add on when you need more room. Purchasing a very large home right off the bat may mean that you wind up paying for a lot of square footage that you don’t actually need or use.
2. The Right Location – Especially Neighborhood and Schools
Young families should look for the right location in their Northern house, especially with respect to the neighborhood and schools. All the school pyramids come with their own characteristics – West Springfield and Lake Braddock are two great high schools – and they each have their own strengths and benefits different from each other. In addition, young families should look for homes in neighborhoods with or with nearby family-friendly amenities like playgrounds, shops restaurants, community sports programs and entertainment options. Your local real estate agent can be a great asset here. To find out more, call (703) 819-9800
For young families, a great neighborhood must have the right feel. It should have low crime rates, friendly neighbors, and other kids to play with around the same age. Another thing to keep in mind is property taxes. Have they been increasing? And don’t forget to consider where property values are trending in the neighborhood. If home values are going up, that’s typically a sign of a good neighborhood, and you’ll know that your home will appreciate and so will be a good investment.
We all want our loved ones to be safe, so for young families with children, safety is one of the top things they should look for in their Northern house. Knowing that your children are safe will provide a great deal of peace o mind. When it comes to the house itself, look for:
- An open floor plan that makes it easy to keep an eye on children, even while working in another room, say, the kitchen
- Closets and cupboards that don’t present any danger of children getting trapped or locked in them
- Stairs that are easy to navigate
- Countertops and shelves without sharp or dangerous corners
- A fenced yard
Other things to look for beyond the home itself include:
- Doctors and hospitals in close proximity in case of emergencies
- Low traffic on neighborhood streets
- Absence of nearby landfills or factories that could pose a health hazard
4. Budget Fit
In most cases, young families are on a tighter budget than older, more established households. So one thing young families should look for in their Northern house is definitely a good budget fit. Ideally, you would determine how much house you can afford before you ever begin looking at houses. The general rule of thumb here is that your monthly mortgage payment should not be more than 30% of your monthly income. One of the best benefits of Northern is that we have entry level rentals, first-time buyer dwellings, and move-up homes, as well.
Look for a Good Agent Too
These are the most important things young families should look for in their Northern house. But in order to find a house the fits the bill, it’s a good idea for them to look for a good local real estate agent first. A local agent can help young families find a home that meets their particular needs.