Budget concerns can limit your options when it comes to finding a good starter home, and needs versus wants will most likely need to be reviewed. Your real-estate agent should have a clear understanding of your needs, but be sure to heed their advice so that you are not expecting more than you can feasibly afford. When looking at homes, consider these four ways to keep your family's needs a priority even on a budget.
1. Schools and Safety
Don't let homes that are right in all aspects except safety and your family's needs even come into the equation. Start with what your family needs first and foremost, which will include neighborhood safety and possibly good public schools. Don't waste time looking in areas where homes are nice but nothing else fits with your needs.
2. Nearby Parks and Recreation
While you might envision your kids and pets running free in an expansive backyard, don't let this limit your search of good homes with less outdoor space. If a home fits your needs otherwise, try to seek out what else the neighborhood might bring to the table when it comes to outdoor options. Playgrounds, parks, and recreational space for sports all might be available and can even offer more outdoor options to your kids than a traditional yard would.
3. Floor Plans That Fit Your Needs
Square footage and a certain number of bedrooms are easy to search for online, but you might actually find that there are homes that feature larger common spaces, rec rooms, or attics that can help your family spread out. Finding a home with less bedrooms than you'd hoped for and having kids bunk up together can be an acceptable way to live if the rest of the layout is workable.
4. Perks of Condo and Townhouse Living
While your dream might be to one day own a standalone home, there is nothing wrong with starting out in a condo or townhouse. These can offer up more safety for your family, and many are situated in good locations within walking distance of stores, coffee shops, and schools. These shared communities might also have amenities your kids can enjoy, such as ponds, pools, and rec rooms.
Getting your foot in the door when it comes to real estate is always a good idea, even if your family is growing. While your kids might grumble about moving into a smaller home or a new neighborhood, if you are making choices now to better your family's future, then stick to your guns. Work with your real-estate agent to set realistic goals in order to find the best fit for your family and your budget.