Buying a house as a young professional is vastly different than buying a home for when you have kids - we look at what you should be looking out for when house-hunting for a family home.

Location matters

Location will always matter when you are buying a house. Each phase in your life requires that different needs are met when looking for a home. 

For family buyers, quieter suburbs that still enjoy easy access to all major amenities are top-choice. For example, areas with more high-rise apartments might be convenient, but loud noises from trendy restaurants or venues could disturb a baby’s sleep. If you can, steer clear of high-traffic streets as a safety precaution, and consider the amenities you might want - walking trails and playgrounds will come in handy when you have a toddler to entertain.

Remember to consider future schooling options and the number of medical facilities in the area. The walkability of the neighbourhood is also a great factor to look at - as a stroll with a baby is a great way to exercise and get out of the house when the baby first arrives.

Storage wars

Right now, you might be able to live in an apartment with room to spare comfortably - but once you have children, it might start to feel like you are drowning in a mountain of things. From clothes, toys, books, and devices that you didn't even know existed, children create clutter - and you will need to make sure your family home has enough storage for everything.

Ample closets are a must, but you’ll also want plenty of drawer, cabinet, and pantry space in your kitchen and, ideally, additional storage in a garage or an option to add more.

Single levels are better

Your dream home might be a split-level masterpiece, but single-level homes are much more convenient when buying a family home.

You are going to carry around a baby for months before they are crawling, do you want to go up and down stairs with a baby in your arms the whole day? The same goes for loads of laundry - of which there will be plenty. 

If you are up for the challenge and you do end up buying a home with a staircase make sure that the stairs are safe and that you will be able to put a baby gate at the top and bottom once they start to move around on their own. 

Safety first

Children - especially when they are mobile - have no regard for their own safety. From pulling themselves up against everything to sticking fingers in stuff they shouldn't, parents have their jobs cut out for them - there is no reason to add to the stress with unsecured pools or dodgy structures.

Make sure that any renovations or additions done to a house are safe and legal. The best would be to have a home inspection done to check the house before you buy.

Pools are a lovely addition to a family home but make sure that you budget for the maintenance and securing of it before the baby comes.