You’ve learned you’re expecting a child. The registry is set up and everything is in order, or is it? You look around your current home and realize it’s just not the place you see this child growing up in. That’s when you decide you should start looking for a new home for your family. Before you consult a Chicago mortgage broker like A and N Mortgage, there are a few things you should look for in your potential new home.
Factor in New Budget Constraints
You have a carefully laid out budget and a healthy savings account, but have you contemplated the changes a baby will bring to your budget? Regardless of whether or not you already have children, adding one to the mix will add a significant expense to your monthly budget. You’ll have diapers and other supplies to buy. If you’re going back to work, you’ll have to pay daycare costs too.
Sit down and write out a new budget, even if you’ve already created one previously. Be honest with yourself about what additional costs you’ll have with the new baby. This new estimate will help you gauge how much you can allot to a monthly mortgage payment. This is great to do before you start looking, so that you can look at houses in a realistic price range.
Carefully Weigh Layout
Layout is very important for many parents of small children. Ponder whether or not you’re okay with stairs. Don’t forget they accommodate a baby gate. Would you like an eat-in kitchen, or do you prefer a formal dining room? Is a playroom a must-have? Then there are the bedrooms. Reflect on how many children you may want to have and how many bedrooms you’ll need. Perhaps you have relatives who live far away and will need a place to stay when they visit.
How does your dream home meet up with the reality of a sick child at 4 a.m.? Running up the stairs to get to a baby every time they cry may not be ideal for you. An open kitchen may be key so that you can keep an eye on the little ones while preparing dinner. Layout may not seem like a big deal, but sometimes the devil is in the details.
Location Is Everything
The real estate mantra is “location, location, location,” and it really is true. Your neighborhood will be important to your family. It’s more than just being safe, but is it walkable? Are there other kids to play with in the neighborhood? What’s nearby? A park or playground is certainly a plus.
What other things are important to you? With a small child, you’ll want a grocery store and pharmacy close by just in case you need to grab something in an emergency. Other nice-to-haves might be a public library or a bowling alley. Think about the things you do every day and what will make your life easy and stress-free.
Schools and Children’s Programs
Last, you may not be thinking about this just yet but schools are important. When winnowing down possible locations, school ratings need to be factored in. Look for well-rated schools that have great reputations. Ask for advice from friends and relatives and check out forums.
It’s advisable to fully vet neighborhoods’ and cities’ school offerings prior to viewing homes, since as your children grow up it’ll be an integral part of their childhood experience. In the future, you’ll be happy you found the best schools for your children.
Not only are schools important but so are other educational opportunities. Cities that offer a wide variety of education programs and recreational activities outside of the school day will give your kids something to do no matter what time of the day or year it may be. Knowing your kids will have plenty of fun activities to choose from will set your mind at easy as they grow up.
Now that you know your priorities, the next steps are to find a real estate agent you can trust and obtain a mortgage prequalification.
To learn more about how to prequalify for a home loan or to get information on a residential mortgage, call us at 773-305-5626!