What to Look for When Buying a Family Home
Did you have children when you choose where you are now living? Has your family grown or changed? If you’re getting ready to find a place that better suits all of you, Alvarez Construction Company wants to help you in the search. Here are some tips about what to look for when buying a family home.
The smart choice
Start by researching the schools that serve an area. SchoolDigger is a great place to find out about the schools—like rankings, student:teacher ratio, test scores, and other important criteria. For example, if you’re looking in the Baton Rouge area and considering Denham Springs (good choice, by the way), you’ll find that SchoolDigger gives Denham Springs Elementary School a 5-star rating. Maybe Prairieville is a Baton Rouge suburb to your liking. If so, you’ll be glad to know that Prairieville Elementary School and Prairieville Middle School both earned a perfect 5-star ranking. The middle school has a very low 17:1 student:teacher ratio and is ranked 18th out of 411 middle schools in all of Louisiana. St. Amant High School, which serves Alvarez Construction Company’s Grove at Ascension community in Prairieville, earned acclaim from GreatSchools, another helpful site for researching schools. In fact, St. Amant students posted a perfect “10” for academic progress at this school and a 93% graduation rate.
A family-friendly location
As you’re narrowing down your choices, think about what your family members like to do for fun. Dig around to discover what’s close to any area you’re considering. Are there parks and playgrounds where they can meet up with friends? What’s local for recreation and entertainment? Kidz Korner Playland is a popular play place in Denham Springs, and 1 of only 4 in the state of Louisiana designed to accommodate children with disabilities. If you’re looking for something everyone can enjoy, head to Airborne Extreme and Tiki Tubing, or combine dinner and a movie at the Movie Tavern at the Juban Crossing mall.
Clearly, safety is a major concern for all homebuyers, but when children are going to be living in the home, you might have to raise your standards a bit more.
Start with the neighborhood. Is it safe? You can check crime rates to make sure. Neighborhood Scout lets you search areas within a city or town.
Next, look at the home itself. Does it include a home security system? If not, plan on adding one. Smart technology makes it easy to monitor what’s happening in your home at all times.
Newer homes include a lot of features that you mind not find in resales. Low- and no-VOC paint, for example, don’t emit the toxins that other paints do. You should also ask about the indoor air quality. A home with an air filtration system protects your family from inhaling the allergens, pollutants, mold, pet dander, and microscopic particles that circulate inside.
Some families with young children want a single-level home, so they can avoid stairs and the risk they present. If you have young children, you probably want to stay away from a split floor plan, where the master suite is on the opposite side of the home from the other bedrooms. Keep those kids close, right?
Conversely, your older children might be ready for more privacy. A home with a junior suite could be the perfect fit. The Lamarque and Sawgrass Plus floor plans are just 2 from Alvarez Construction Company’s portfolio that feature a second suite with a walk-in closet and full bath.
Move-in ready or fixer-upper?
How much time and money do you have to make your new home the way you want it? Be clear in your mind about the difference between a cosmetic update and a renovation. If you put all of your money into purchasing a resale home and haven’t factored in enough for remodeling, you might need to endure years of living with the compromise you made. Interest rates are very low right now, while home prices will continue to rise. You can likely afford more of a home now than in a few years, so keep that in mind when you’re looking at the price AND the cost of a home. The price is what you pay now. The cost is what you’ll spend in the long term to take care of it—like replacing the roof, air conditioning system, water heater, and appliances.
Go with the pros
Gather the right team to help you in your house hunting expedition. Get pre-approved by talking to a lender. In this way, you’ll know what you can afford and the home loan programs that are available to you, like the VA and USDA loans that require no down payment. We have a wide variety of eligible communities for the USDA loan.
We highly recommend Anthony Williams at Eustis Mortgage. Anthony works hard to help you match your life to your loan!
Alvarez Construction Company has affordable, single-family homes for sale right now for quick move-in. Or talk to us about choosing the homesite and floor plan so we can build it for you. Either way, we hope our family can help yours!