London mum

Property Tips For When You’re Expecting

By  | 

I instantly said yes when asked if I was interested in writing an article on our house moving experience and to share my insight and tips on the topic. I’m surely not 100% proud to say that I am probably the queen of moving in and out, beginning with the time we were both students and flying out of our parent’s nest. It’s been definitely a learning curve, mainly learning from a few rookie mistakes my hubby and I could have avoided. I only wish I learned earlier about Nested’s Baby Calculator which, in hindsight, could have saved us a lot of hassle during the past few years since the kiddies came along.

Back to the few learnt lessons now, which some of you parents (to-be) out there may find helpful when it comes to settling into the right home. In an ideal scenario, which is more achievable than one might think, parents-to-be can plan wisely their house move buying before the child arrives. Having recently moved from our not so child friendly home, here’s a few tips to keep in mind while you search for your dream place when you’re expecting. A clever start is hitting the link and using the baby calculator, created by online estate agent, Nested, which is a versatile online tool devised to help parents (to-be) plan their momentous move and estimate their home move duration and timeline. So here goes 🙂

My Expecting House Hunter’s  Table of 10:

1. Location

It’s no news that location is such an important factor in your home’s market valuation. Not all of us are lucky enough or have the finances in place to score the dream home of our entire lives on the first home move. Treat your home as you do one of your investments (a piece of Alldadstalk wisdom – being a financial services lawyer and all). It’s relevant to check for important details such as commute, bus, train or tube stations, any planned council redevelopment for the area, etc. Look for a nearby lively high street with vibrant coffee shops, social activities for kids where you can meet other mums and dads.

2. Nurseries and Schools

Yes, this never used to never be a criteria when renting out or buying the first home. Make sure you do a bit of research about the nurseries and schools in the neighbourhood you have your eyes on. If you pick one or two you like see what conditions you must meet to have a chance of getting the little one admitted. It’s a given that the closer you are to a school the greater the chance to get a place.

3. Living space size matters

I have a feeling that’s why they invented 2 reception rooms – go for that if you don’t want to step into toys every 5 minutes or so 🙂 as it’s easier to delimitate playing area from living area. If you’re aiming for crowded urban areas it may be a bit harder to find 2-reception-room home gems, so make sure your living space can at least be organised with a playing corner. Last but very important, if it comes to a choice between larger living space OR larger bedrooms, make no mistake: larger living space takes dibs.

4. A bathroom space in the downstairs area

Hey, going up and down the stairs can do wonders for your figure and blood flow but you wouldn’t want to do that a hundred times a day so aim for one. Babies need a lot of changing, toddlers need a lot of cleaning. Even if there isn’t one already in place have a look to see if there’s any space where you can fit a cloak room, you’ll be congratulating yourselves later.

5. Storage is king

Let me say this again: STORAGE IS KING unless you’re a student or a professional couple who spends more time at the workplace or travelling – been there myself. Always demanding a premium in homes located in crowded urban areas, storage space is ESSENTIAL when you’re expecting. Think strollers, hundreds of nappies and baby wipes, blankets, toys, yes, millions of TOYS etc. If you’re lucky to find a place with decent storage then you’re set. If not, look around for any poorly used areas in the house where you can get creative with storage.

6. Clean-easy surfaces

Kids like to get messy and play with food A LOT. It’s important to find a place with easy to clean floors and walls. Ideally stay away from carpeted living spaces. Getting professional cleaners on a weekly or monthly basis to do your carpets can put a strain on your budget.

7. Accessibility

If you’re aiming for a flat  you may not find a ground floor which ticks all your boxes but try and stay away from loft conversions or storied buildings without lift access. You will have to push that stroller around day in and day out and your back will feel it all in a short time.

8. Garden is a bonus

An accessible and observable from the living room garden is a must, whatever the size. It effortlessly increases your living space during summer months. Last, when you’ve outgrown your home because baby no 2 is on the way, it could add at least 10% to the value of your home.

9. A green space within a walking distance

You would appreciate a lot a place to access with your buggy and a playground to enjoy with other mums and bundles or any green open space wider than your garden which maybe comes with a cafe . It will be where most playdates happen when the weather allows it.

10. Write a questionnaire

Now that you’ve figured out everything that’s important to you during the house hunt, write down a thorough list of questions for your estate agent. It’s really easy in the process to oversee something which may be very important. The ancient Roman Empire home hunters knew it very well and have passed onto us a motto of their wisdom: “spoken words fly – written ones remain” :).

If you’re looking for a bit more help or have more questions you can always get in touch with Nested which is a London based online estate agency and the first estate agent to be using live data in order to sell homes with predictable timelines. I have to mention that Nested’s key USP is that it makes sellers ‘chain free’ by providing a cash advance to help movers buy a new home before they’ve sold their old one. Brilliant idea, I know. It helps eliminate the stress and uncertainty of selling and buying a home as they are actually able to loan you up to 97% of the market value of your property as a cash advance. What does this mean for you? Well, it makes it easier to purchase a new home prior to your old one selling!

More details on this are available on their website here.

This article has been written in partnership with Nested, and I’m happy to share our moving houses experience hoping it might help out other parents (to-be), too. I believe that parents need to do anything they can in order to make their own life easier and a family-tailored home is a huge part of that.