As your family expands, you may find you start to outgrow your first home and the community that surrounds it. As you start to look into school catchment areas and recommendations, clubs and hobbies local to you and your children, and activities to do as a family on the weekend – you may find you’re longing for pastures new and a big change. This feeling is incredibly common. When you have children, you want to give them the best start in life, and moving can be one of the easiest ways of ensuring you are doing just that. (Source)
Before you get carried away looking at luxury detached houses in the countryside, and the most prestigious schools in the area, you may want to create a checklist covering exactly what you are looking for. Below is a list to help you do just that.
You may have wanted to move to a certain location for your entire life, and this is your opportunity to finally do that. However, you may want to consider a few other things first. For instance: Will you still be in close proximity to your family? If you have younger children they may have Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles etc. that want to see them grow up and be very present in their lives – if you move to another country, county or state this may be a little more difficult. Of course, you need to do what’s right for you and your family, however, it will be nice for close family members to know they were considered when the decision to move was being made.
As well as family, you will need to source a clear guide to county boundaries to ensure you are in the catchment area for certain schools, and are close to a public transport system to make sure, if you work full time, your children can safely and easily get to and from school by themselves. Also, looking into the travel time for local active clubs your children may be interested in like football, gymnastics and swimming is a good idea, as if they do join full time you/they will be making that journey a couple of times a week.
If you have three children, it obviously makes sense to look for a four-bedroom house. However, it may be more beneficial in the long run to look for somewhere bigger than you need. This will give you an opportunity to have an office if you or your partner work from home, and a spare room if you do have family living a little too far for day trips. In addition, even if you don’t have plans to expand your family now, you may do in the not so distant future.
You will have room to expand without having to move again and will give your family room to breathe in your house, so you’re not under each other’s feet all the time. A larger house will also come with more storage – as everyone knows children aren’t the greatest at throwing things away – so families tend to accumulate a lot of things. More storage will mean your house will feel a lot less cluttered and be easier to keep tidy and clean – a lifesaver when you have children!
Knock On Doors
Even though the place you have chosen to live may be topping every survey when it comes to the happiest, safest, and family-friendly places to live – you will still need to visit the community and spend some time there to know for sure that is it the right choice for you and your family. If possible, stay there for a couple of days and immerse yourself in the local scene. Once you have found the perfect property, knocking on neighbours’ doors, or attending a local community meeting will not only help you to get to know the locals, but also receive a local’s opinion on moving to the area.
It will answer any questions you have about schools and area safety, as well as settle any worries or concerns you have about moving. You may even find someone who made the move not too long ago and has some useful tips on integrating yourself and your family into the community, and great local destinations for family days out – like a local park and pond, or wildlife park. You may even be able to arrange some playdates for your children, so they also feel part of the community and help to make moving a little easier for them.
Moving house can be a very stressful and overwhelming time for everyone involved, so taking the time and appropriate steps to ensure this is the best choice can save a lot of time and worry in the long run. Thoroughly researching your chosen area and the properties available there, will help you to make a decision that is sustainable and beneficial for your whole family – not just for the present time but the future.
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