Congratulations on your growing family and taking the plunge into homeownership! Buying a home when expecting can be a bit daunting, so here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Take a Close Look at Your Finances: When you’re pregnant and planning a family, it’s important to factor in the cost of raising a child. You’ll want to create a budget that includes your upcoming expenses including child care and all of the new expenses you’ll have in caring for an infant. Next, compare these expenses to your current income. Then consider how much you can reasonably afford in a home and stick to that budget. A good rule of thumb is to keep your monthly house payment at or below 28% of your gross monthly income. You’ll also want to make sure your credit score is up-to-date, and have an idea of what kind of down payment you can make.
- Understand Your Growing Needs: Do you want a single-family home or a condo? Do you have a preference for the number of bedrooms and bathrooms? What will your space need be in the near future? For example, although a small bedroom can make a great nursery, it may be too small for a child with toys and books and new needs for their own space. You might also appreciate having a separate playroom to help keep the clutter of toys in one area while giving a child a fun place of their own to enjoy. Do you ever work from home? It may also be a good idea to have an office space that gives you or your partner a quiet place to work away from the sometimes noisy bustle of kids. Knowing what you are looking for ahead of time will help narrow down your choices and make the search process less overwhelming.
- Get Pre-Approved for a Loan: Getting pre-approved for a home can be a great way to ensure that you are prepared when you do find the perfect home for your growing family. You will need to provide pre-approval with any offer for purchase that you make. It can help you narrow down your search and give you a better idea of what price range you should be looking at. Start by talking to a mortgage lender to get a better understanding of your budget and options. They can help you determine what you can afford and what type of loan is best for your situation.
- Research Your Top Neighborhoods: Finding the best community for you and your growing family is a very important part of the home-buying process. Although the first day of kindergarten may seem a long way off, you’ll want to research the school districts to ensure your child will receive a quality education when that day comes. Also to ensure the area is safe, looking into the local crime rates is important as well as considering what amenities the neighborhood offers, such as parks, playgrounds, and shopping centers. It’s also a good idea to take a tour of the neighborhood to get a feel of what it’s like. And if you run into any potential new neighbors, ask them about their experience in the community and get their opinion of the neighborhood.
- Hire a Professional: It’s always a good idea to have an experienced real estate agent on your side. They can help you navigate the home-buying process and make sure everything is done correctly. The professional should be competent in the home buying process as well as skilled in negotiations while also knowing details about the communities you are considering. Additionally, it can be very comforting to have an agent in your corner that has a family with children. They understand personally the experience of parenthood and the reality of all the housing needs that accompany that journey. This helps them provide helpful and practical advice to make your decision-making process easier.
All in all, buying a home when you’re pregnant and planning a family is a big decision, but with the right information and resources, and the right professional on your side, you can make the process easier and less stressful.
Experienced Agent, Attorney, and Mom of Twins