Searching for the perfect home for your family is an important task, with a lot of factors to consider. It doesn’t have to be an impossible mission though, if you go about it the right way.
First, work out your budget. Apartment prices can vary massively for renting and buying in different areas, so it’s worth looking around a little to see which area you can afford to live in. You might find an area you hadn’t considered is actually perfect you. Don’t forget to check rent trends in your city by using city specific data like this.
When you start to view apartments, remember to think about what’s nearby. What are the local schools like? Are there any parks or good play areas within walking distance? Do any of the neighbours in the apartment building have similar aged children?
Think about how much space your family needs. Apartments can be low on room, so compromises might have to be made. Would the kids need to share a bedroom or are there enough rooms for everyone to have their own bedrooms? Is there room for everyone to play without taking over any adult spaces?
Don’t feel you need to take the kids to see every apartment you view. For a first viewing, it’s best to leave them at home, so you have better ability to concentrate and ask the agent any questions you have. If you like somewhere, come back for a second viewing with the family in tow. This is their chance to ask any questions and see where they might live. Try and make the experience fun and make the kids feel listened to if they have any worries or concerns. Take the opportunity to explore the area too to make sure it suits your family. Test out the local play area, have lunch at a nearby cafe and walk around to scope out things like where the nearest shops are. As a family, you can picture the life you might have there and identify anything you all think is missing.
If you kids are old enough, you could give them some tasks to complete during a viewing. They could be in charge of taking pictures of the apartment, or making notes of any details. For smaller children, help them to remember things about each apartment by asking them to draw a room they see or a floor plan. It’s a good distraction and helps cement details of the apartment they see in their minds.
Some children may be upset by the idea of a move. Work with them to help them come to terms with the idea. Perhaps you could ask them to drawer their dream bedroom and point out how you could help them make that room in the new place. During a viewing, make sure to point out the fun, positive things about the place, such as seeing a child of similar age that could be their friend in the hallway, or noticing how close the apartment is to a favourite treat restaurant.
However you choose to approach it, you’ll be finding your family’s next home.