Homebuyers searching for the perfect family abode can look to ten top considerations from property experts when choosing a happy family home.
Whether you are looking for somewhere to settle down and start a family or need to accommodate a growing one, there are many factors that need to be considered to ensure your new home works for you and your household.
As many of us are spending more time at home than ever due to working remotely or looking after loved ones, it’s important that your home enriches and complements your lifestyle, routines and habits, rather than restricting you due to a lack of space and flexibility.
With so much to consider, searching for the ideal home can be daunting, but with proper planning and careful thought, finding the dream home for you and your family need not feel like an impossible task.
Michael Taggart, CEO of Taggart Homes, says: “Finding your ideal family home can be a challenge, but it’s also an exciting prospect if you’ve chosen to move to improve you and your family’s lifestyle and environment.
“There is a lot to take into consideration, from the space and location that a home provides, to the potential and resale value it has in the future. During the pandemic, the importance of our homes has become even more significant – and many people are deciding to move because their current property is no longer working for their new routines.
“At Taggart Homes, we are proud of the care we take in considering who our homes are designed for and always put ourselves in the customers’ shoes. Quality, practicality, energy efficiency and value for money are at the top of our aims when designing new homes and neighbourhoods – that’s why we’ve compiled this list of our top ten considerations for finding a happy family home, to help buyers make the right choice for both the short and long term.”
Here are the top ten considerations for finding a happy family home:
One of the most important aspects of any home is the space it affords you and your family – and that does not just mean the amount of space there is, but how it is used too. Smaller, compact houses still offer plenty of room if laid out and utilised in the best possible way, giving you plenty of options when creating rooms for working, dining and relaxing.
When looking for your family home, try to envisage how each room would work for you and your loved ones – what it would be used for, how you can make the most of the natural light and layout, and what you might like to alter when it comes to décor and style.
Consider your future plans – whether it’s to grow your family, downsize, or move out in the years to come, so any home you choose needs to be flexible to meet your changing needs, or have resale value in a desirable or up and coming area.
It’s the classic property cliché, but location really is everything when it comes to house-hunting.
Proximity to local amenities such as shops, restaurants and bars, as well as schools, health and leisure facilities and places of interest, all add to the value and quality of life that a home can offer. Do your research around the area and surrounding neighbourhoods to get a good feel for the location.
Remember to consider the proximity of the property to beauty spots and places of interest too – if you enjoy a short break to the seaside or nearby nature reserve for example, choosing a home with easy links to main roads and motorways within an hour’s drive from these attractions might be the right choice for you.
The quality of a home – from the materials used to build it down to the finishing touches – will determine how enjoyable the space is to live in.
Practicality, aesthetics and energy efficiency are key aspects of an ideal home, with durability and value for money of materials and products used being equally important, to ensure several lifetimes of wear.
The ideal family home is one that you can create memories in, and when planning for the long term, it is important to consider the quality of a property, so it will last and will not cause you problems in the long run.
4. New build vs traditional
When choosing a new family home, one of the first decisions you will need to make is whether you would like to purchase a traditional or new-build house.
There are benefits and advantages to choosing either, and it really comes down to your personal preference and taste.
If you are planning to buy a new-build home, you have the added luxury of getting a ‘blank canvas’ that you can truly stamp your personality on. Many high-standard new-build homes will come with tasteful décor and quality fixtures and fittings already installed, so you can move in seamlessly and quickly.
If you are choosing a new-build property, research the housebuilder thoroughly to get a feel for the price range, style of homes, and areas that they are active in – this will help you to determine whether you are getting a quality home that will last.
5. Fixtures and fittings
To ensure a richer quality of living, choosing a property that offers convenient and efficient fixtures and fittings will keep your family home running smoothly.
Spending a little extra on a home that comes with quality appliances or has the potential to install new fittings over time, will be worth it for a more enjoyable living experience.
From high spec kitchen appliances and fibre broadband, to smart technology such as lighting, heating and speakers – there is so much you can add to your home that is going to provide practical and useful features you’ll love.
6. The neighbourhood
Researching the neighbourhood you would like to live in will help you to decide on your next home – this can include getting a feel for the housing market in the surrounding areas, such as price ranges, how quickly houses sell and how often or how many properties are on the market at any one time.
With the rise of property search portals and websites, it is easier than ever to look at the breadth of houses available in a chosen area, and you can compare prices and features to choose what suits you.
Although working from home has become the new routine for many, the need to travel as circumstances return to normal may arise once again, so consider how close your new home is to travel links such as trains, bus routes and motorways.
As attractions begin to reopen, there will be plenty of opportunities to visit family, take day trips out with the children and visit your favourite shopping and leisure parks, so it is worth researching how easy it will be to reach these places from your family home, whether that is by car or public transport.
When purchasing a family home, it is important to choose a property that works for you both in the short and long term.
The use of space may change over time – rooms might become multi-functional, you may wish to convert a space into a home office, a gym or another bedroom, so keep in mind how flexible the space is before buying.
The popularity of open-plan living continues to increase and is an extremely desirable asset in any property, as it allows the space to be used in various ways and can easily be adjusted over time.
A happy family home is one that can adapt to your changing lifestyle and needs over the years – so finding a property that can be extended or remodelled in the future is an important factor to consider.
Most homes with outside space will have the potential to be extended, but it is worth doing some research and seeking advice on this before purchasing if you think it is something you might need to do in the future.
Extending the kitchen, dining room, converting the loft, garage or basement, adding a roof extension, utility room or a new conservatory can all add value to a property, as well as provide you with that precious extra space to make your own.
It is a good idea to look at other similar properties in the area to see if they have been extended too and this will indicate how easy it will be to get planning permission for such a project, as well as provide scope for what can be achieved with the space available.
10. Outside space
One of the most sought-after features in a happy family home is the outside space – a garden is an extremely valuable part of any house, and one that is becoming even more significant given the amount of time we find ourselves spending at home.
A garden, patio area or courtyard can be transformed into a place to sit, dine, relax and play and will provide space for hours of fun and leisure time, where memories can be made.
Access to outside space is also vitally important for our physical and mental wellbeing, as proximity to nature is known to help combat stress and provide us with a calming environment – if this is high on your dream family home checklist, don’t be tempted to compromise!
Looking ahead to the future, choosing a home with a garden will also provide plenty of scope for extending your property, as well as adding in features such as a gazebo or even an outdoor garden pod – perfect for use as a home office, yoga studio or even your very own bar.
With more than 30 years in the industry, Northern Ireland and Birmingham-based Taggart Homes currently has developments underway in Oxfordshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.