Any home you buy should be futureproof to remain suitable for the family that yours will become. We've teamed up with estate agents Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward to provide the best tips for finding the perfect family home.
When you’re looking for a family home, you’re not only looking for the family you have now. This makes the task a tricky one. Any home you buy should be futureproof to remain suitable for the family that yours will become: children grow fast and if you’re looking for somewhere long term, you need to take this into account. The open-plan cooking and living area that enables you to keep an eye on a crawling baby and a climbing toddler might not be so handy when you have a five year-old who wants to watch non-stop Barbie animations, an eight year-old with a drumkit or a 12 year-old with a Fortnite habit. In situations such as these, open-plan can quickly lose its appeal.
While finding the right house can be a challenge, you don’t have to go it alone – that’s where the experts come in. Maxine Harris, Sales Manager at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward (KFH) in Beckenham, has over 20 years of experience in advising families and she says: “When looking for a family home you will need to consider four things: size, practicality, location and safety. In terms of size, I always advise my clients who are looking to extend their family, to think about whether the bedrooms are big enough, or if there is space to create a playroom.”
She advises people to take their children to viewings and let them choose their own rooms, and have a checklist of other criteria too. “Consider factors such as school catchment areas, nurseries, transport links, amenities, doctors surgeries and dentists, and whether there are other families living on that street,” she says. It’s also important to think about practical details such as storage space and whether there’s potential to extend in the future. Plus, “small children love to be outside, so take into account the garden space or local green spaces during your property search,” says Maxine.
Everyone’s journey is different, and families who are going to be renting long term also need to think about these factors. Nicole Furrer, Lettings Manager at KFH in Crouch End, also urges families to carefully consider if open-plan living is right for them. She recommends: “Families of different ages, including teenagers, should consider a property with separate living spaces. This allows you to break up the space for individual activities.
Conservatories, outbuildings and summer houses are all increasingly popular criteria with renters as they provide additional space inside and outside the home.” The flexibility offered by these kinds of extra space can be invaluable when a family’s needs shift. “It’s really important to consider how you might need the space to work for you now, if a new baby comes, and when the little ones have grown,” she maintains. Remember, life doesn’t stay the same for long when you have a family.