By Alexis Hall
Your children may not be contributing to the mortgage, but homebuying will no doubt be a family affair. Your kids’ needs (and futures) will dictate many aspects of the home-buying process, but that doesn’t mean you have to go over budget or become over-stressed. The Vieira Group offers this invaluable advice for families buying on a budget.
Finding Your Family’s New Home
Buying a house for a family is quite a journey. Change can be hard, and so can find a property that has all of your needs covered and hopefully checks some of the “want” boxes too.
Before embarking on a listing search, evaluate your family’s must-haves and prioritize them. Maybe you need a yard for the family pets or an extra bedroom for a home office. Those non-negotiables will drive your buying decision and budget; features like more bedrooms may drive up the home’s value, Experian explains, and therefore the list price.
Then, agree on what you’re flexible about. The kids might want their own rooms, but maybe sharing is doable if the square footage is high enough. You may prefer a bigger house, but what if the location is near-perfect on a smaller property?
Family discussions will help you narrow down what you really need and what would be nice to have. Then, it’s time to start searching.
Homebuying Best Practices
Families with kids have a lot of expenses already. When it comes to home buying, costs can add up quickly. Fortunately, there are ways to save both short-term and long-term.
Down payment assistance programs are one way you can lower the up-front cost of buying a home. Some options involve a smaller second mortgage or loan, which means your per-month cost will be higher over time. Down payment grants, however, offer a no-payback way to close on your mortgage. Grants help you get into a home and don’t add long-term costs.
Shopping around for rates also ensures the lowest possible monthly payment. After all, you’ll be paying mostly interest for the first few years of your loan. A lower APR takes a few dollars off per month, notes CNN, and every little bit helps when budgeting for a family.
Streamline Moving with Kids
Moving a household is a big project, and with kids, it can be more stressful. If you have time, preparing far in advance is the best way to streamline moving with children. Buying a home can take time, so patience and a plan go a long way.
For school-age kids, moving during summer break can help ease transitions plus give you time to enroll them in their new schools and extracurriculars. Reaching out to the new school before summer ensures a seamless transition in the fall.
Packing well in advance may help with both logistics and emotions, as kids have time to donate unwanted items to charity and arrange how to decorate their new rooms. When moving day arrives, saying goodbye can be less hectic since everything is ready to go.
Considerations for Moving Your Business
For entrepreneur parents, moving your business to a new place will be just as crucial as transitioning your family and their belongings. To simplify the process, start early with a comprehensive packing list. Save daily-use items for last while boxing everything up, and plan to work remotely to avoid downtime while your office is in transit.
Hiring movers can help keep your move on schedule. But depending on the value of your business essentials, you may want to purchase moving insurance to protect against losses.
You may or may not want to advise clients of possible downtime during the move. After all, some time off might help you get settled in your new home and workspace sooner.
Homeownership is a huge milestone, especially when you’re raising children. By doing your research and planning, you can make the experience both budget-friendly and enjoyable for the whole family.