House Hunting While Expecting? Don’t Forget About These Things

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Category: Kids & Pets

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As a mom-to-be, I had one thing in mind when my husband and I were recently house hunting while expecting: a space that was ideal for our growing family. We were no longer just looking for a home that was perfect for both of us, but instead, we had to think about our soon-to-be family of three (or someday even more!).

As if house hunting wasn’t hard enough, the “future family factor” can make the process even more daunting. If you’re expecting, or hope to start a family someday, then you’ll definitely want to keep the factors below in mind when searching for the home of your family’s dreams.

Floor Space

The most obvious and non-negotiable place to start is the size of any prospective home. Will it be able to accommodate you and your partner, along with one or more kids? Ask yourself these questions:

Where are the bedrooms located to one another?

Of, course you want to have enough bedrooms, but that alone isn’t enough. Like someone sketching out the perfect blueprint, you’ll want to consider where the bedrooms are located to one another. It’s preferable to have all the bedrooms on the same floor, so they can easily get to their child’s room at night.

Is there more than one bathroom?

Surprising nobody, people will walk away from incredible arrangements if this single factor is off – and it’s no wonder why. Whether this is your forever home or not, multiple family members getting ready for work and school in one tiny bathroom won’t cut it long-term.

Are stairs going to be a factor for you? (Probably.)

Parents who are city dwellers know how difficult it can be if you live on the third floor of a walk-up building. Even after pregnancy, bringing a stroller, a baby and groceries up and down three flights of stairs is quite the trek! Especially if you’re at the beginning of your family adventure, stairs may be a major factor to consider.

Is there an open floor plan?

These days, open floor plans are the most desirable, as parents can keep an eye on their kids playing while making dinner. Make sure whatever layout you choose is one that works well for you and your kid’s safety.

Where are you gonna store extra stuff?

Kids come with a lot of stuff. Strollers, clothing, toys, sports equipment … is there storage space for all of these things in your potential home? Make sure you have a concrete plan to contain the clutter!

Safety Concerns

Even if there weren’t any kids to consider, safety is a priority when house hunting. Add kids to the mix and you become even that much more aware of potential safety hazards that lurk in a potential property.

Is this home near a busy street?

A busy street can be a potential deterrent for a number of factors. First, it may be pretty noisy which isn’t ideal for sleeping babies, trust us. But (somehow) even more importantly, you don’t want your kids playing in a yard that’s on a street with lots of traffic. Here’s a protip: Google Maps highlights streets by their traffic. The darker the color, the more that’s “happening” there. A double-edged sword, to be sure!

What about a fence?

A fence in the backyard or front yard may be a priority for some expanding families, as it allows kids to roam the patio without wandering off too far. If there isn’t a fence (and you want one), budget in the cost of adding one when checking out potential properties.

Can kids play in the neighborhood?

When house hunting, you’ll want to get a feel for the neighborhood. If kids are out riding their bikes and playing in the streets, it may be a kid-friendly spot where your future kiddos can hang with their neighbors. If you want to get a feel for the crime rate, there are definitely handy websites that show you the police blotter for any given area. Your notes shouldn’t begin and end at the front door!

How far are you from your personal doctor or an urgent care/hospital location?

You know that scene in movies where a nervous husband carts his “in-labor-and-about-to-burst” wife into the car before zooming through traffic? Well, planning out where the hospital is not a one-and-done trick. While we hope you won’t be using this route often, make sure where your health insurance is accepted and where you live aren’t majorly out of sync. Speaking of this tip …

Location

Location, location, location. It’s always the number one factor when buying a home of any kind. But throw a kid or two into the mix and where you live is more important than the view.

What’s the school district like?

We’ve chatted all about the importance of house hunting with a school district in mind on the HireAHelper blog before, and we maintain this shouldn’t be overlooked. Do your research, look into the numbers, and make sure you’re in a school district where your children can thrive!

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How long does it take to get to school?

When my husband was a kid, he had to take a 30-minute bus ride to the other side of town for school every single day. If you don’t think about this before buying, trust us, you will afterward. Can your child walk to school? Can you drop them off on the way to work? Is the bus ride manageable? Even if your kid is far from their first words, this is a crucial variable to think about when searching for your perfect home.

Are there other families in your neighborhood?

When narrowing down locations, it may be beneficial to take a stroll through the neighborhood on a weekend afternoon. Are there young families at the park? Are the kids a lot older? Is the demographic mostly older people without families? Do some research online (like with this app) and get a feel for the demographics of the neighborhood to see if your future family will fit right in. It helps to have a helping hand and a night out once and awhile!

Where’s the closest park/library/swimming pool?

When you’re a parent, you want to keep your kids entertained to prevent anyone from saying the b-word (no, “bored”). Having parks, libraries, swimming pools and other fun activities nearby is always a good idea. Nobody wants to have to make a field trip out of every excursion.


Starting a family. Buying a home. These are big milestones for anyone! But combining these two life events? You’ve got the recipe for a lot of important decision-making. Our advice is to be thoughtful, consider every angle, and think about your life 5, 10, or even 25 years from now. That way, you’ll be certain you’re making the best choice for you and your future family no matter what it looks like.

Is Oregon Still a Trendy Moving Destination?

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Category: Long Distance Moving

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[Synopsis: Portland’s average home now tops $400,000. Is Oregon’s boom about to bust?]

In our industry, it’s no secret that Oregon has become a top destination for interstate moves. Whether you look at United’s inbound/outbound percentages or Atlas’s inbound move totals, Oregon has in the last few years shown itself to be economically strong. Not surprisingly, Portland is leading the charge.

But there are more than two ways to skin a cat. (This industry really is an animal!) And this month we are going to look at the situation in Portland from a few new angles, to see if Oregon really is the horse to bet on as Destination King.

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Building a Smart Home: 11 Sleek Products to Do Just That

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Category: Home Improvement, Organization

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Last week here on the HireAHelper blog, we kicked off a series on Building a Smart Home by sharing an introduction post on where to even start in the process.

This week we are diving just a bit deeper by sharing some specific smart home products to consider purchasing in order to transition your home into the future. Not only do these products help make your life more convenient, but we really love them because they can keep your property (and family) safer. To us, the investment is well worth it! (more…)

Building a Smart Home: Where to Start?

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These days you’re able to control just about everything with the click of the button. Want a hot pizza? There’s an app for that. Want to get a manicure without leaving your couch? There’s an app for that too.

You can control almost all aspects of your life using just your smart phone! The same goes for everyday items around the home. You can unlock your door, turn on the A/C, and turn the lights on using your smart phone. Everyday essentials are quickly being replaced with innovative products designed to make your day-to-day life easier.

Iphone-pictureNow we’re not claiming to be the most tech-savvy gals around, but we have been really intrigued by the idea of creating a SMART HOUSE to make our lives a little bit easier and perhaps even to save some money. So over the next 4 weeks, we’ll be diving into a series about CREATING A SMART HOME. (more…)

5 Things to Overlook When House Hunting

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Category: Buying & Selling a Home

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Have you guys ever seen the show “House Hunters”? We watch the iconic HGTV show fairly often, and always laugh when buyers can’t seem to overlook some of the easily-fixable items in a home. If I had a dollar every time a buyer says they can’t possibly imagine buying a home that doesn’t have stainless steel appliances…well I think I’d be able to afford one heck of a house.

If you’re house hunting, keep an open mind and overlook some areas in the homes you see. All five of these things to overlook when house hunting can easily be changed, and should by no means ever be deal-breakers! In fact, looking for homes that lack in these areas might lead you to a seller more desperate for offers, and more willing to negotiate. (more…)

How Do I Remove Smoke Odor From My New House?

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A friend of ours recently bought a house in which the previous homeowner was an avid smoker… meaning their new house reeks of cigarette smoke. The smoke smell was so severe that she and her husband actually got a great deal on the property. They loved the price but they definitely do not love the looming smell of smoke, especially since these newlyweds have a baby on the way. Before they move into their new place, they want to make sure they remove the disgusting smell and create a space that is safe for their growing family.

How do I remove smoke odor from my new house?

Here are the tips that they vowed worked best for them: (more…)

Hidden Costs of Homeownership

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Category: Buying & Selling a Home, Money Saving

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My husband and I are currently looking to buy a home in Chicago (we know right where to find move help in Chicagoland)) and it’s been one heck of an emotional roller coaster. Excitement, fear, anxiety…let’s just say that making this big purchase is a bumpy ride.

While we have many must-haves for our new pad (2 bedrooms, quiet neighborhood, close to public transportation), by far the biggest factor is our BUDGET. (more…)

How Do I Get A Home Loan?

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How Do I Get a Home Loan?Lately, we’ve been chatting all about the process of buying your first home sweet home. To begin, we listed some tips to help you with the whole buying vs. renting dilemma. If you read that blog post and came to the conclusion that you’re ready to give up temporary decorating techniques and add “homeowner” to your resume… then today’s post is perfect for you!

Now, before you start scouring the real estate listings for your dream home, you need to figure out how much house you can afford. Yep, like many large purchases you’ve gotta start with a BUDGET.

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If you’re going to be borrowing money from a bank (which I’m guessing is most of you), you’ll need to chat with a mortgage lender or broker to find out how much cash they’re willing to cough over.

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First 5 Steps To Homeownership

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Becoming a homeowner is an exciting time but is also one that takes preparation, communication and lots of decision-making. Today, we are breaking down the often overwhelming world of the first few steps of homeownership into a 5 Step Guide to Homeownership for Rookies. We hope these 5 steps will guide you in creating a solid foundation to build your home-buying experience on! #punintended #sorrynotsorry (more…)

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