If you’ve never had a child, you have no idea how it will change your everyday life. Things that used to be so easy, now take twice as long and must be built in around nap time. Don’t wake the baby! Many people start their house hunt in anticipation of starting a family or growing your current one. From my own personal experience and through the eyes of past and current clients, I hope this list helps you prioritize your needs and wants in a home:
- Bedroom location – do you want the baby on the same level as you? Where’s the master in relation to the room to be used as the nursery? Think of those nights at 3am when you have a crying baby looking for food.
- Do you care about sharing a bathroom? Admittedly, babies will be in a plastic tub you place in a bathtub for a while and then they don’t actually use a bathroom on their own for even longer. However, once day your bathtub will have a bunch of rubber duckies in them. How much will stepping on one at 6am as you get ready for work bother you?
- Storage: extra diapers, strollers, car seats, a swing, future clothes, clothes he/she no longer fits into….where will all the STUFF go? You never realize it takes so much stuff to raise a baby these days.
- Steps/parking: A house on a hill with no driveway and steep steps will NOT be fun with a 30 pound car seat. I’ll tell you that right now. Especially if you’re trying to bring in groceries as well. Forget it. A condo on the 3rd level with no elevator? You won’t need to worry about baby weight, lugging that up and down will be workout enough.
- Needed work: this is a personal issue. If you want the dream home and have the time and energy to devote to a renovation – go for it. But it will require a lot of attention and someone in charge. A bathroom, a kitchen, floors, those are small improvements, some you can live through. However, some are going to be a huge inconvenience when you have an infant.
- Proximity to “things.” If you’re home all day with the little one, at some point you’re going to go nuts and need to get out of the house for a walk, to run an errand, whatever. Do you want to be close enough to walk to things? Do you want the suburb feel of a neighborhood? There are so many parks throughout Arlington, the chances are good one will be within walking distance. But what about grabbing lunch somewhere?
- Layout: with an open layout you’ll be able to keep an eye on your little one from anywhere, which makes getting other things done easier while they play. Do you want a specific play room? Area for toys? What about the kitchen – do you want to be able to see them while you’re cooking?
- Speaking of toy rooms, what about that “man cave?” You may laugh, but at the end of a long day, you’ll want to watch something that requires little brain use while you enjoy a glass of wine and some couch time.
For more great tips, consider joining the Mothers of North Arlington, South Arlington MOMs Club, Fairlington MOMs Club (South Arlington MOMs Club has 3 chapters, so contact them to find out which to join).