Congratulations! You’re having a baby! Adding a child to your family is an exciting, thrilling, and occasionally terrifying time. In addition to obsessively reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting and combing Pinterest for nursery ideas, it’s also a good time to decide what in your life needs to be changed to accommodate your new addition. One of the biggest things you should consider? Your home.

While the idea of buying or selling a home while pregnant might seem stressful, doing either of these things with a newborn is even harder. If you find yourself in this position and are feeling slightly overwhelmed, fear not. Choosing the best home for your growing family isn’t as hard as it seems. In fact, there are really only three extra things you need to think about. Best of all? We’re about to lay them out for you.

The Floor Plan

When children enter the picture, the floor plan of a house takes on new importance. Once, you may have been concerned about the flow from foyer to mud room, or the advantages of an open kitchen for elaborate dinner parties. Now, you’re worried about how close the nursery is to the master bedroom, and how well you’ll be able to see your toddler in the living room while you’re trying to make dinner. A four-bedroom house might sound great on paper, but make sure your future playroom isn’t in a gloomy space. Does the home have plenty of room for storing clothes and toys? Does it have a decent yard so your children can enjoy the great outdoors? Is there a breakfast nook or dining room suitable for family dinners and holidays? Finally, if you’re planning on having more than one child, you’ll also want to consider investing in a bigger home, one that can accommodate not just the child you’re expecting, but others that you hope to expect later. It’s a lot to think about, but it’s better to consider these things now rather than realizing you made a mistake later!

Location

We’ve all heard that mantra of real estate agents, “Location, location, location!” While this saying is common, it doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all definition. The ideal location for homebuyers will vary greatly depending on where they are in life and what they’re seeking; the needs of a first-time parent will be wildly different than those of a recent college graduate. When it comes to location and the comfort of your family, you may want to consider the age range of your neighbors. Are there other kids in the neighborhood? What is the school assignment for your home, and does that school have a good reputation? How close is the house to the places you often visit, such as your pediatrician, the grocery store, the library, your daycare and your place of employment? A house may seem perfect, but if getting to and from it requires a 20-mile commute both ways, its charm will quickly fade. Remember: You can paint the walls, add an extension, and cut down trees in the yard, but location is the one thing you’re stuck with. Choose well!

Safety

Safety is always an important factor to consider, but when you have young children, it tends to become an obsession. Do yourself a favor and make sure the home you’re thinking of purchasing is as safe as possible. This can involve research into things such as local crime rates and changes you need to make to the property, such as putting a fence around any bodies of water. Other issues to consider include the condition of staircases, sharp countertops and flooring materials. Stepping outside can also be revealing. Is the home located on a busy road? What are traffic conditions like? What sources of pollution are nearby? Thinking about these things now can help you provide a lifetime of health and comfort for your family.

A safe, comfortable and loving home is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. If you need help finding the right place to raise your growing family, contact Network Real Estate. Together we’ll make sure your family has everything it needs.