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6 Tips for Finding the Perfect Family Home

Finding the ideal home for your family is no mean feat. We all want the best for our family, but the property market can be difficult to navigate.

Here are a few tips to help you find your dream property:

#1 Look for the amenities

Amenities are usually the number one concern for a family. Nurseries, schools, libraries and playgroups are all important, to name but a few. Parks and open spaces are fantastic, too but look deeper. Some areas offer family-friendly activities, including book festivals, annual fairground amusements and discounted tickets to museums.

#2 Check out the neighbourhood

It’s always important to get a feel for the neighbourhood yourself. A single house viewing isn’t usually enough. You’ll want to stroll around and explore. This way, you can identify potential problems like fast roads and get a sense of how strong the local community is. A tour of the area will also reveal hidden gems, boutique stores and other surprises that you won’t find online. This is especially useful for new build homes, which often have communities springing up around them as new people flow in. Check out the surrounding area and meet some of the incoming residents where possible.

#3 Leave room for an extension

Families tend to grow! Not all homes can grow with them, and if you don’t want to go through the lengthy process of another move, it’s important to find a home that can expand outwards. Terraced houses or those on tightly packed roads usually aren’t suitable for extensions but don’t rely on visual inspection alone. Planning permission constraints can preclude you from extending even the most free-standing property, so delve into the archives before you buy.

#4 Think about parking

Still on the theme of expansion, families require space. Even if you think a single driveway is enough, consider the demands of extended family and relatives who might visit for the holidays. Larger vehicles like people carriers require even more space, so some on-road parking is always useful. Consider whether this is viable and always assess just how crowded the street is. If you leave a lot of items in your car, a garage might be a good idea, and these will often cut your car insurance premiums too.

#5 Look at school catchment areas

There’s nothing more disappointing than moving to an area with half an eye on one of the local schools, only to find out that you’re just outside its catchment area. Always research to avoid disappointment. Schools have surprisingly small (and ever shrinking) catchment areas, so don’t take it as a given that just because you’re nearby, you’ll be eligible.

#6 And finally…get the garden right!

Outdoor space is vital for a family. Parks are wonderful, but nothing beats the sheer convenience and safety of a garden. Gardens are brilliant for adults too and give you plenty of opportunities to get creative. Consider aspects like privacy (how overlooked is the garden?), size (will it accommodate growing children?) and lighting (are there fixtures for outside dining in the summer?).

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