A single person may be willing to settle for less on their buyer wish list when it comes to purchasing a property, but that’s often not the case for family-oriented homebuyers who are looking for kid-friendly features. Buying a property becomes a bit more complex when kids are involved because they’re looking for that perfect combination of size and safety.
Children influence the biggest purchase their parents are likely to make – according to a 2014 study by Coldwell Banker Real Estate, more than 70 percent of millennial and Generation X parents say their homebuying decisions are largely influenced by their offspring.
So what are the biggest features to look for when it comes to buying a family home of their dreams? Here are five things you should think about when putting your home on the market when you expect a lot of family-focused interest.
A family home must offer enough space for both children and adults, so of course it’s one of the most important items to consider before making an offer. Children need space to run around, play with their toys and be noisy without affecting adult areas. The buyer will also consider:
- Are the kitchen and dining room large enough to cook and serve family meals?
- Is there enough closet and storage space?
- Is there a laundry room to wash clothes?
- Is there a mudroom or entryway big enough to corral everyone’s belongings?
Limited space can create a stressful environment by keeping kids’ and adults’ activities close enough to drive many parents a little crazy. Make sure there is enough room for a family area, adult entertaining space, sleeping arrangements and a playroom for kids to enjoy being kids.
Location, Location, Location
Location should rank high on your wish list because you have limited control as to what happens in the neighborhood surrounding you. The decision on where to live can affect a child’s education, general care and well-being.
- Can the school’s rank and safety and extracurriculars meet your child’s needs?
- Will the school commute be an issue?
- Is the neighborhood kid-friendly?
The answer to these questions will help determine if the property is ideal for the buyer’s family.
When you sell your home, share the answers to these questions, especially if these are positive features in your neighborhood. Create a printout highlighting some of the facts about the school, extracurricular activities offered, nearest parks and shops that can accommodate the family. This gesture shows buyers that you’ve taken time to think about their needs, that you go beyond expectations and that you take pride in your neighborhood and home.
Like location, the safety of the neighborhood is an important factor to consider when purchasing a family home. Point out the nearest hospital and police station. Highlight security monitoring if you live in a gated community or if there’s a neighborhood watch.
Narrowing in from the rest of the neighborhood, how safe is the property for sale and the inside of the home? A homebuyer can change cosmetic issues and childproof rooms, but as a seller targeting families, pay attention to features that parents could benefit from. Note fences that secure the property line and keep young kids contained.
Inside, express how the open layout has allowed you as parent to multitask by supervising the kids while making dinner in the kitchen. Some parents look for one-story homes, or at the very least for staircases that don’t have a steep grade to climb.
Rather than renovating the entire home before moving day, Mom and Dad will consider properties made from durable materials. If you have pets and children in the home, opt for hardwood floors that can retain their looks and are easier to keep clean. Quartz or granite countertops can resist cracks, chips and even stains, so keep them cleaned and clutter-free to show off for an open house.
Family house hunters will also look for energy-efficient and environmentally friendly products in the home – like appliances, thermostats, lighting and solar panels – that will not only help sustain the environment for their kid’s future, but help keep utility costs down as well.
If the property has a yard, show off those areas ideal for entertaining and playing to emotionally connect buyers to the type of lifestyle they could lead if this space was their own.
Make sure the swing set is rust-free and sturdy. Maintain the yard, from weeding, mowing the lawn and keeping mosquitos at bay. If the property has a pool, showcase the crystal clear water, create an area nearby for toys for the kids to have endless summer fun and establish a spot for grown-ups to keep a watchful eye. Bring outdoor dining front and center by dressing up a dining set with new cushions, pillows and some mood lighting.