Gone were the days when our only concern in buying or renting a place is whether or not it has interiors close to our Pinterest finds. When you’re already a parent or you wholeheartedly plan to be one, choosing a new place you can call “home” means more than just looking for fancy furniture and a cozy balcony. When you are starting a family, so many factors have to be considered when searching for your abode.
More than 6 years ago, when my husband and I were busy preparing for our wedding, we realized the need to look for our own place a little bit late. Because I was busy with wedding preps, it took a while before I was able to absorb the thought that my wedding day would also mean my last day in my parents’ home! 😅 So we did our apartment searching in just less than 2 months.
If you’ll soon be starting a family, home hunting is one of the experiences you need to cherish with your partner. Kudos to you if you’ve already bought your own house or condo unit before you get married! But there’s also nothing wrong with renting a place while you’re still starting. Hakuna Matata! 🦁
Based on our experience, I’m sharing here some tips to help make your apartment/condo/house search a little bit easier. You’re welcome! 😉
Set a realistic budget
This first tip may be such a party pooper, but this practical tip will be your protection from all your tempting fantasies. 😜 While all of us will surely want to think sky’s the limit when organizing the “Search for the Best Home”, believe me when I tell you that this Utopian thinking is a one way ticket to disaster.
Imagine moving in to a grand apartment in January just to realize that you can’t afford to pay the rent by August! 😱
So set your expectations right by setting a budget for your apartment. Talk to your spouse and be honest with each other about your income streams, dreams and goals. Consider all the family expenses and make an honest judgment on how much is practical to spare for apartment cost.
A safe and convenient location is your priority
Like in all things that matter to us, our perfect home should be located in a nice and safe neighborhood. Doesn’t mean you have to be rich to afford a spot inside an expensive and exclusive village. You just have to check (and double check and triple check) the neighborhood where your target home is located.
Make sure the location of your apartment or house is conducive for raising children. The most important thing to do is to ensure that there are no red flags in terms of security and safety for your kids or future kids.
If possible, choose an apartment with nearby child-friendly areas and kids’ facilities such as daycare centers, schools, and playgrounds. Accessibility to necessities such as grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals and medical services is also a good thing to consider.
Choose a place with nearby outdoor space
The pandemic has made all of us realize the importance of having enough space for recreational activities at home. When buying or renting a house or apartment, it’s good to consider a place that offers a small outdoor area for the kids to play and everyone to breathe fresh air and unwind. Whether the apartment unit has a small balcony or a nearby community, it helps to have access to a safe outdoor space you can use for family bonding activities.
Check the amenities
Decide within your family which is a must and a plus in terms of selecting home facilities and amenities. Ideally, you will want big spaces. A decent amount of storage for toys, clothes, and other home stuff is a necessity. Check if there’s a space where you can dry your clothes after washing. If you have a car, check if there is a parking space and if it will come with additional cost. Likewise, check if the whole unit or house has safety and building compliance.
Spot potential safety hazards
The family’s safety should be #1 priority when selecting a new home. Check for houses or apartments that are equipped with facilities for child safety and convenience. Look and double check for any steep staircase, loose or wide railings, broken locks, slippery floors and tiles, pointed or sharp edges, among others. Make sure that the place comes with emergency exits, especially if it’s a rental apartment.
Do your initial search online
To save your time and effort, do your initial search for apartments for sale or for rent online. You can simply google your desired location. For instance, type Calgary Homes for Sale and choose from a long list of online sources.
Through your online research, make a shortlist of your chosen apartments. From there, schedule an apartment visit to check the actual place.
Apartment searching can be exhausting, but it will surely be a memorable part of your family journey. It will certainly be more special when you do it with your spouse or/and with your kids. Enjoy the process! 🏡