Becoming a family is probably the greatest motivator for a move there is, and the choice of home is usually a fairly accurate reflection of the significant social change that people experience at this time.
The property needs of a single person or couple are more likely to be motivated by their social standing, entertainment patterns, convenience or investment potential. However, once a couple becomes a family, new practical, financial and emotional influences substantially shift this focus. Every aspect of one’s life are affected by parenthood and this is fully reflected in the choice of home.
The most important issues now are safety and new financial responsibilities. The open tread staircase, low-walled balcony or garden pond now have to be avoided as safety takes over from personal preferences. But also, don’t underestimate the value of time. You’ll want to spend as much time as possible with your new baby, so think carefully before buying a property which will require your personal involvement in fixing it up. Properties needing work will usually involve dust, chemicals, splinters and all sorts of other dangers. Hoping your baby will sleep through the noise of an angle-grinder or builder’s radio is also somewhat unrealistic and can only add to the additional stresses which come with parenthood.
As your baby becomes a toddler, other factors kick in and layout becomes an issue because of your need to keep an eye on your child at all times. Electrical points need to be capped, sharp edges avoided, and cupboards child-proofed. A secure outside area also becomes important if your child is going to explore their world safely.
And do make sure that the park you want to live near for strolling with a pram has a climbing frame and slide and goalposts! Children seem to grow faster than we want to move!