Our most recent teleseminar focused on a very important question that many families in a larger city face after having children and wanting to have more space: is it time to move? Jill Raff, NY realtor and mom of two, talked about the top five factors to think about when you may already have a 2nd child or are expecting, and you realize your space is getting tight. Below are her top tips and suggestions if you are contemplating a move in or out of the city.
If you also would like to listen to the playback of the class, you can go here.
How do you know when it’s time to consider a larger home?
- Do your stroller’s w/bulky over-stuffed diaper bags clog the entry with scooters; tricycles tucked in the corner because your building won’t allow you to keep things in the halls & you’re on the lifelong wait list for the bike room?
- Do you have no ‘adult-only’ space?
- Have you ever had company over & found yourself picking out Cheerios from between the sofa cushions?
- Do you need a home office space?
Renovating vs. Moving?
- Will the renovation give you efficient & useful added space to extend your time in the home to justify the investment or is it only an aesthetic upgrade? ie- closets, open kitchen w/good (safe guarded) cabinets (Designer Tip: Internal magnetic locks allow you to have ‘adult’ beautiful cabinets but safe for your children!
- If you renovate your current place, consider the cost invested & length of time you’ll gain there vs. upgrading to a bigger space. (ie- if you have children of different genders you may need separate bedrooms sooner than later, toys & things, exponentially multiply w/each child, etc.)
If a family decides to renovate, consider:
- Furniture that has multiple uses & doubles as storage ie- ottoman boxes, use a foldable table as a ‘home-office table’ daily, but opens for when company comes as a buffet or for seating, etc.
- Outfitted Closets w/shelving AND shorter double hanging (Mom Designer tip: remember, our kids are small)
- Think ahead in your planning- ie: child size furniture, Central A/C – where would you put it, bath w/curtains vs. glass doors for ease of bathing, no locks on internal doors…
What are the top (5) things a family should consider before moving?
Stay in the city or move to the ‘burbs? It’s SO personal but some things to consider are:
- Your commute to work
- Your car dependency & likely need for 2 cars if you move to the ‘burbs
- Tradeoff of conveniences to get groceries, food deliveries 24-7; ease of living in apartment buildings that are well maintained when something goes wrong we just make a phone call or write up a note at the front desk for the repair
- Schools- pros and cons: moving to live within the public school catchment of your choice, the expense if you’re considering the independent/private school route, or moving to the ‘burbs to avoid the NYC schools completely
- Immediate access to the cultural activities, museums, ballet, symphony, opera, etc. for you & your children…
- Being a part of a multi-cultural and ethnic environment
- Cost of maintaining a home in the ‘burbs- landscaping & all it entails, higher utilities, if something breaks it is all on you…
My Comfort Quotient Quiz™ is designed to stimulate your thinking & help you focus on what’s important & consider possibilities that perhaps they never thought of prior. After the first section of determining Is It Time To Move?, there are multiple categories which cover the top 5 things I discussed above.
The Comfort Quotient Quiz™ delves into topics not only about the basic criteria of number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but also details of important consideration for growing families like:
- Would you like a neighborhood that is more established & family oriented? Vs. Would you like a neighborhood that is more established, but with a growing number of families?
- Would you prefer to live within walking distance of your child’s school?
- Would you walk more than 5 blocks to the nearest playgrounds?
- With so many working from home today, is it important for you to have separate space to work from home?
- Do you prefer grocery shopping in a more specialty local market?
- Are you OK with your children riding a bus or taking other transportation to school?
- How important is it that you stay within 10 blocks of your current house of worship?
- How important is it for you to be near (within 10 blocks) of your current friends?
- How important is it to be near a social community center, YMCA, JCC, etc?
- Would you purchase a new apartment even if it requires renovation?
Things to consider before you even start looking to buy a new home?
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage!
- Do you know your FICO credit score?
- Have you been delinquent on any credit card, mortgage or collection payments?
- Pay down up to 10% of your limits of your balances up to 3 months from when you want to borrow. Keep balances low.
You can find my free Comfort Quotient Quiz™ by signing up at www.JillRaffRealEstate.com. This is my gift to you to help you start learning about what your needs are for you and your family. If I can be of service to you now or down the road, it would be a pleasure to hear back from you with your results, which I will evaluate and analyze according to the categories to determine what you hold most important. This will be a starting point for a discussion, which will save you time by providing you with a more targeted and focused search for a home that is suited to your needs. Likewise, I can help you if you decide to sell. Enjoy the quiz and either way, I would love your feedback to constantly improve upon it! You can reach me at [email protected] or at 917.887.5899