Why a real estate agent says you should consider a family home next to a skate park
Family life has changed for a lot.
We live much more informally than before, we often run out of time and juggle with different demands.
So when it comes to the family home, what should we be looking for?
William Tieu / YourFe.co.nz / Simplyfinance.co.nz
Opinion: Your bank account and credit cards can delay lenders when applying for a mortgage. William Tieu has some tips for first time buyers.
* How Professionals Think First-Time Home Buyers Should Find a Home
* How to get the right flow inside outside
* Do we take the design of the house too seriously?
The real estate agent: Think about location
Location is a big issue, says Antonia Brown, Wellington-based real estate sales manager. Little ones might like to run around a rural property in Kāpiti, but teens can be frustrated staying out of town and away from their friends.
And many family home buyers no longer want the quarter-acre paradise. With both parents working often and so many extracurricular activities for the kids, there is real time pressure.
No one wants to come home and mow the lawn at 9 o’clock in the evening.
The same goes for the type of house. Towns like Wellington are full of old houses and they are generally in a good location. But Brown suggests that people must “have a real passion to take care of these houses.” The older the house, the more time and money spent on maintenance and / or restoration.
“Move into an apartment next to a skate park. Your kids will love you for it, ”says Brown. Older children get some independence and parents don’t lead them.
Instead of using the backyard as a play area, families can use parks and public green spaces with the benefit of not having to maintain them.
The key for many families is easy homes that won’t absorb the free time. “They usually look for something modern, eco-friendly, easy to heat and maintain, and with a few bathrooms,” says Brown.
The real estate inspector: Find space to grow
“The ability to be able to grow in the home is really important for long-term homes,” says Jeremy Cox, Canterbury-based home inspector.
Together with his wife Melanie, he designed and built their family home four years ago. They put a lot of thought into the layout, the family way of life and how family life has changed.
“When I was a kid all my toys were in my room, you would go and play in your room,” Cox explains. “Now our two children don’t spend a lot of time in their bedrooms. The kitchen is the center of the house.
So those big, open spaces where the family can get together and do their own things are important. A large kitchen island can be where dinner is prepared, kids can do their homework, visitors can sit and chat, and the family can even eat.
It’s also good that rooms are flexible, Cox says, so think about how a space might function as your kids get older.
A spare room can go from the home office to the second bedroom to the guest room, for example, at different stages of life.
For example, Cox incorporated versatility with a larger than average garage – so it can be used as a social space. “We put in carpet, insulated it.
“So when the kids get a little older and they want to go out, it can be another place with a pool table and stuff, rather than just a cold place where you put a car. “
Other key family requirements include plenty of storage, while a separate toilet and bathroom can make life easier.
And above all, think about heating. Older villas may not be insulated and may be difficult to heat.
“The sun is so important for heating a house,” Cox explains. “With good insulation and sun all day, pick the right time, put those curtains on and you can save on heating bills. “
The architect: Healthy and well designed
Mitchell Coll, an architect based in Christchurch, agrees: “A warm and healthy home, whether old or new, is really important for families, especially with young children.
So always learn about heating and insulation of a future home. Think insulation in ceilings and walls, floors and vapor barriers, good ventilation in showers and hoods, says Coll. If the house doesn’t have one, consider what it would cost to install them.
And Coll echoes the idea that sunlight is important. Consider how the sun moves around the house at different times of the year. Or use a sun position app on your phone, he says, as the name suggests, they’re great for seeing how the sun will come in through windows and where it will fall during the day.
Acoustics are also important for family life, says Coll. Obviously, these are easier to manage if you’re designing from scratch, but, in older homes, think about how the room layout might work.
So you probably don’t want a home office next to a game room; or the common and open plan living room sharing a wall with the master bedroom.
And if you’re thinking long term, think about accessibility. “A lot of people get their heads in the sand as they age,” says Coll. “But it’s really important to consider. especially if you want a home forever.
At the end of the day, all families are slightly different. “Sit down and think about how do we live?” Said Coll. “What do we really need and what do we want? And are we prepared to pay more for these things if necessary? “.