How to Buy and Renovate Your First Family Home to Fit Your Needs
A family home is more than just bricks and mortar. It’s a place where memories are made, where our children spend their formative years, and acts as a backdrop where we all grow together. Buying a property is always a challenge, more so if it is your first home – and with credit scores, down payments and other financial details on your mind it can be easy to forget to balance these with smaller things which will transform your property into your family’s nest.
Finding and financing your property
• Saving for and planning the financial aspects of property purchasing is a complex and daunting process. Whilst many property buyers look at their home as a financial investment, when buying a property for your family it’s probably better not to think in such terms. Ideally, your home will appreciate in value over time, but primarily you’re looking for a space to make your own for you and your family.
• Choose a house you can afford, in an area which you like. Overstretching your budget will mean sacrifice, worry and stress down the line. Saving for a larger down payment will also help – if you can raise 20% of your total loan you will save on fees imposed by the lender.
• Finding a home loan to suit you and your family can also be daunting. Luckily there are a number of expert services online through which you can find lenders offering a variety of loan options. By comparing and analyzing your options, you’re given insights into which loans are amongst the most considered in the market and which have the most competitively low interest rates. And you’re able to accomplish all this from the comfort of your own home.
• Find a trusted agent to help you through the tricky process of buying a house. An agent’s expertise will give you great advice and guidance at every step.
• You may need to think about tightening your belt to budget wisely for your upcoming property purchase. From small savings, such as packing your own lunch for work (or taking your own coffee), to cutting down (or out) online spending, every little helps. Cancel the gym membership and use the park instead. Keep track of how much you’re saving, and encourage the whole family to get involved – every penny counts!
Renovations and ideas
OK, now you’ve found a home loan and a brilliant property to move into. Now’s the time for you and your family to set about making that house into a home, where you can relax, enjoy, and truly be yourselves.
Open plan living spaces offer families the opportunity to enjoy one another’s company without sacrificing efficiency or crowding one another too much. If the kitchen looks over the dining room – great – no one has to be stuck in front of a stove on their own. Even better, if that dining room doubles as a living room a parent can get the dishes done and keep an eye on what the kids are up to. Likewise – create a study area which is in a shared space so that your children can work safely on a computer with your supervision (and you can keep an eye on their progress).
If you’re pushed for space it is important to make sure that everything is as functional as possible – and remember that you don’t have to sacrifice style for function. Choose furnishings which double as storage, and carefully measure your furniture when designing a new layout to maximize the potential of the space.
Rooms and extensions
If you have young kids you may want to keep their room close to yours in case they call for you in the night time. It’s worth remembering though, they don’t stay young forever – and then you might want to be as far away as possible. Got two kids? They may be happy to share a room at first, but you must plan to give them their own rooms eventually. Loft extensions are amongst the most popular home modifications, and create enough space to keep your children happy from toddlers to teenagers!
If you have a garage or basement which you aren’t using, why not consider converting it into a family games room or den? Less formal than a sitting room and less functional than a kitchen, a room of this kind can really be a great place for a family to unwind, bond and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Make sure all windows and doors lock – and fit external doors with deadlocks. The front door (and all other external doors) should be sturdy solid core doors. Fit them with peepholes, or if you have a large porch area you may wish to install a security camera. On the subject of CCTV – numerous options are available, including motion sensor technology cameras which can email you footage or store it on a server. It’s good practice to make it seem like the house is being continuously lived in, which can be done with timers (this works best if the range of timers is staggered throughout the rooms).
Rules for the kids
‘Safety’ is a word we associate with home – and it’s incredibly important for children to feel safe and secure in the place they live. There are many ways to keep your home safe, but if you have young children, it’s especially important to teach them some basic safety rules. Teach them not to open the door to anyone (including friends) – rather they should come to tell you there is someone at the door. You should also show your child or children how to dial for the emergency services (and tell them when and when not to).
While you will probably end up selling your first family home, you shouldn’t look upon it as an investment, at least not in the financial sense. Look at it as a blank canvas upon which the events – big and small – of your family’s lives are played out. So choose it carefully, renovate it accordingly, and relish your time in it together.