Post # 1
Hello Bees! For those of you who bought your home before you had kids, how did your needs and wants in a home change? if you could travel back in time, what would present you tell past you before you bought?
We are looking for a forever home, but I am starting to think that what we want will change once we have kiddos.
For now, we think about school districts, and having multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. Maybe a one story house, not on a busy road, with a fenced yard.
But we also are looking in the downtown area of our city and love to walk to things. I don’t think that desire will change when we have kids, but I don’t know.
Post # 3
@justelope: Our home started as a forever home, but that has now changed. We just made sure we had room to grow into it in case we get pregnant right away, but we will sell/rent in about five to ten years. We have a big enough house now, but with two dogs and two people we are already feeling crammed. So I just made sure that we had room to grow so we wouldn’t HAVE to move right away.
ETA: We didn’t think about school districts yet. We will later, and that will probably determine where we move next.
Post # 4
We bought our home pre-kids and made sure to buy in a good school district with lots of parks and play areas nearby. We also made sure to get a small second bedroom which is not easy to do in NYC!
We chose to stay in the city adn compromise on space in order to have a reasonable commute. If we moved to the suburbs to a reasonably priced location where we could afford a single family home with a yard, we would be commuting at least 1.5 hrs each way. Right now I can walk home if I have to in about 30-40 minutes and it’s a 20 minute subway ride. Can’t beat that!
Post # 5
We didn’t think about kids at all when we bought! We think we’ll be able to be in our current home for a year or so after the birth, but in all honesty, our home is not conducive to starting a family. You’re smart to think about that stuff before you buy!
Post # 6
We bought right after we got married and had put an offer in a few weeks before we found out we were pregnant. We pulled up the old carpeting, but the hardwood floors that were underneath are really creaky! Also, the bathroom and the nursery share a wall. Not great around bedtime or early in the morning. Also we have a gally kitchen with no room to open it up to the living area.
I think I’d have thought about the layout more carefully. Definitely wouldn’t put the nursery next to a bathroom.
Post # 7
We plan to buy with the intent to start a family there. There must be either 3 bedrooms or 2 bedrooms and a den/office area. That way we have an office and a nursery. We also are paying attention to schools and the safety of the area itself as well as space to grow in the home. If it is going to fit perfectly with the 2 dogs and us, it isn’t big enough.
Post # 8
We don’t have kids yet, but we’ll probably start trying this fall. I bought my house when I was single, and oh man are there tons of things I would change. For one, I bought a townhouse with a 1 car garage (with tandem parking) because it was the most I was comfortable spending. 2 car would be so much better for us, and particularly when we have kids.
My house, at ~1600 square feet is TONS of room for one person. Reasonable amount of room for 2. But I think will start to get cramped once you add a baby plus all their stuff (crib, pack n play, changing table, toys, etc). Fiance and I stopped by the model in our development which is the bigger version of my house (2 car garage and 1900 square feet) and even though it was only 300 square feet bigger, it felt so much different. I think most noticable changes were in the living room and the 2nd bedroom. My living room now is big enough to fit a U shaped sectional, ottoman, and entertainment center. But there’s not a lot of room for a baby to crawl or play. And the 2nd bedroom in my house is pretty small. I’d love to keep the daybed that’s in there and add baby furniture to it so that we could still have guests (and probably have the baby sleep in our room at those times). But with the bed pulled out fully to king size, IDK if baby furniture would still fit.
Ideally, it would be so much better to have a 3rd bedroom so we can have guests. And if we have two kids, then I’d prefer at least 4. Another thing I’d prefer was different is to have a better yard for kids to play in. I have a small deck, small patio and a narrow backyard that runs behind all the townhouses. It would be nice to eventually have a big backyard for kids and the dog to play in.
Post # 9
We bought with the intent of starting (and possibly keeping) a family in our current house. It’s big enough for 2 kids, we think. We have 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. All of the bedrooms are on the same floor, which we heard was important. We thought about the fact that having a master suite downstairs would not be fun with a nursery/kids room upstairs.
We have plenty of room right now with just us and our 2 dogs – we have a pretty humongous back yard too. The only thing we think will become a problem when we have kids is that we’ll lose our office area. But we have enough room in other parts of the house to put our desk and bookshelf if we need to. Honestly, we hardly go into our 2nd or 3rd bedrooms. Our 2nd bedroom is our office and we go in there to get stuff off the printer or get a book. Our 3rd is our “guest room” and I only go in there to clean before company. Lol. You’d be surprised.
We also bought because our neighborhood was established and quiet, had a pool/tennis courts/lake, is in a pretty good school district – although that won’t matter as much because me working in the school system means our kids can go to whatever school I want them to. We’re open to moving one day if we start to feel cramped, but by then we’ll have been in our house for a good bit of time. We bought it last year (2011) and don’t plan on trying for kids for at least another 4-5 years anyway.
Post # 10
We bought a two bedroom apartment, but we plan to move to a townhouse before we start a family. My parents live out of town so when they come to visit they stay in our home, so we always need a guest room in our house. We live in a smaller town so there isn’t too much choice as to what areas we live in, so we don’t need to worry about that much.
Post # 11
well, the point that you want to live downtown is probably what is going to change to be honest. my sister and her husband bought a house downtown pre-kid to remodel (they thought it was the up and coming neighborhood 10 years ago, but not really it’s actually a horrible part of town) and they never expected to move, but now that their little girl is 1 and 1/2 years old and walking around and wanting to play outside they want to get out of there for her sake. It’s not safe and they know it. And I don’t think they would get nearly as much out of their house as they have put into it, so they are probably at a loss. She has nowhere to play, no friends, and if they stay there she’d have to go to a private school which here is really really expensive, if you have the money though, great! But they have bums drinking out of their hose everyday and constantly hanging out around their house, several times i’ve been over there i’ve heard gun shots right outside their door which they don’t seem to even flinch they say it happens all the time. Their neighboors are crackheads too. I wouldn’t want them near by baby sorry. But they don’t move because a. they are not done remodeling and nowhere near ready to move so they are kinda stuck where they are with only a concerete slab for her to play on the backyard and a half done house since it took them so long to remodel and they still arn’t done eventhough their kid is here now…they have since stopped any work on the house, her bedroom is about the size of a closet too and thats what you get with smaller houses downtown that usually cost more money. not really ideal for a kid. none of it really in my opinion. it might be great for them to live downtown but they don’t even go out or leave their house. so whats the point.
my best friend also lives downtown with her kids in an apartment in another really bad area but that’s another story.
believe me i lived downtown too, and i’m a city girl but in my 10 years of being a mom I have jumped around renting in different areas and I think the best is a housing area right outside the edge of downtown and suburbia. that’s where i liked it the most and the schools were excellent. Plus I could still go downtown if i wanted. Although since being a mom thats not important to me anymore, really it isn’t. We now live more further out in suburbia and own our home now, not by my choice but its just where i’ve ended up. Though I have come to realization why this is best for our kids. we live right by a handful of great parks in our neighborhood walking distance which has been WONDERFUL to have. I’d say that is probably high up on my list to get a house for the kids….parks/playgrounds (but in a safe area). Librarys too, and swimming pools. Another plus to living in the suburbs is that my son lives on the same street as a bunch of his friends from school and they can play together anytime, and summer time is a blast around here with the kids out of school. He also for the first time gets to take the bus now, that is something we didn’t ever get living downtown as I was always driving him to school everyday. My best friend that lives in an apartment downtown drives her son to school out of district 45 minutes away from their house in suburbia everyday. he’s never ever had a friend over to play, and has never been invited to anyones house, and there are no kids around where she lives. But she ends up driving all the way out here everyday so he can go to school and she can live downtown. It seems kinda ridiculous to me but she is set in her ways. So I hope all that helps! Remember…big bedrooms (kids get lots of toys as presents and they pile up)…Basements are another huge plus! Throw all the toys down there and make a playroom. I have never had a basement till this new house and man i love it! All the kids on our street have a great time down in our basement, it’s a safe hangout spot for kids. My fiance found this house and picked it out, he said he drove around near the parks to see where there was kids playing outside, and this street was filled with kids and lemonade stands and he ended up buying this house cause of it. Which now i get it.
Post # 12
We intend to buy a home that we will start a family in. It may not be our forever home but we’re definitely looking in an area that has awesome schools. In our city you can live in one area and it’s awesome and kept up well or another and it’s awful, so we’re very, very picky on location. Hopefully we’ll get a home with 3 or 4 bedrooms and an open concept layout.
Post # 13
Darling Husband bought when he was my Boyfriend or Best Friend. Ironically we considered kids in the equation and he got a 4 bdroom home in a really good school district.
Post # 14
We just put in an offer last week and it was accepted! Our home is in a suburban neighboorhood (mostly young families), we have a huge backyard, 3 beds and 2.5 baths, 2100 sq ft. It will not be our forever home, because the entire state we live in (Delaware) has poor schools. We will move over the line into Pennsylvania when our children are school-age. Therefore, we’ll live there for about 6ish years. I think it will be the perfect starter home. We got a great deal (it needs a little work), and we since we definitely didn’t max out our budget, we can save for the forever home we really want in a few years 🙂
Post # 15
I bought my home pre-kids and I will likely never move. I love my home. Things about it that were important then, that remain important now: enough bedrooms for everyone to have their own, plus an office/guestroom, multiple bathrooms, close to my family (e.g. same neighborhood), good schools (elementary through highschool), close to work (12 miles…I wish I was closer but my family outweighs this), and finally GOOD neighbors (more important than you could imagine…my kids play outside like I did when I was a kid).
Post # 16
I want to thank the OP for this topic, something that has been on my mind and a huge determination whether or not we’ll have kids plays a part in where we’ll live and the home we can purchase.