Finding the Perfect Home for Your Young Family

You’ve saved all the “perfect home” pictures on your Pinterest board and dreamt of more space, a bigger, kitchen, the idyllic front porch, and everything else you expect to have in your new home. Now you just need to pull the trigger on purchasing or building the perfect home for your young family. Where do you start?

Having just entered the housing market and completed the process of deciding how and where to house our young family, we have learned some valuable lessons about how to emerge from the process minimally scathed and what to prioritize when looking for a dream home.

These are the top features we prioritized in finding a home that was perfect for our young and growing family:

Location, location, location

Everyone laments that kids these days no longer play with the neighbors on the street. If you’re a Millennial, or young Gen Xer, like us, you grew up doing just this, and it was an integral and defining part of your childhood. We wanted desperately to recreate this for our kids. In an ideal world, we want them to be able to walk out of the house and safely play with the neighborhood squad with minimal supervision. This dictated many of our choices including choosing a subdivision instead of a stand-alone lot and a city and subdivision full of young families, many of whom we already know. 


This may not seem obvious at first, but when you live in a subdivision with no sidewalks, you quickly realize that they are absolutely essential for young kids. Taking our three toddlers out for walks and bike rides is currently next to impossible given that we have no sidewalks and curvy, narrow, and hilly streets with little visibility and cars speeding by at all times. Sometimes we literally have to drive our kids to a place with sidewalks in order to take a walk; otherwise, their bike rides consist of us constantly yelling at them to get off the street and on to the grass because a car is approaching. Needless to say, we’ve learned our lesson and prioritized a subdivision with wide streets and sidewalks.

Playroom on the main floor in front of the kitchen

Since most of our time is spent in the kitchen, we prioritized a place that provides a small space in front of the kitchen that can be used as a play area. More and more builders are designing small sunrooms in front of kitchens, and we chose such a builder. The sunroom provides a well-lit, open space for toddler play and messes and even a mini bar counter connecting to the kitchen for snacks and crafts. Best of all, it’s always in view, and we don’t have to go to a different part of the house or to the basement to watch the kids nor have them trudge their toys up and down from various places. The playroom can be repurposed as a homework or lounging space as the kids grow older.


Spacious mudroom

Muddy shoes, snowy pants, puffy jackets, lunchboxes, bag packs, soccer balls…you name it, and our toddlers love to track it in and put it in the family room since we do not currently have a mudroom. For that reason, a spacious mudroom was a big priority for us. We are now dreaming of soon having an entry point to organize everything and hope it makes our house seem a little cleaner, too!

Flat backyard

Our current condo is elevated with an above-the-ground deck/patio in the back and no backyard. This is tough with kids. Balls end up on the lower level and have to be dug out of the woods; it’s not big enough for a playscape and too hard for a small inflatable swimming pool. We prioritized houses and lots with flat open spaces to play and even lucked out with a backyard that backs into one of the subdivision’s common play areas to provide even more space for the kids to run free. 

Front porch

While we’re super excited to finally have sidewalks, we also wanted to have a place to sit and watch the kids play on those sidewalks; that’s where the front porch comes in. Among the elevation options our builder provided, we went for one with a front porch to give us a place to lounge while the kids ride bikes and run around in the front. Right now we use folding chairs on the driveway and are very much looking forward to this upgrade.

Large, second floor laundry

With three little ones and another one on the way, laundry consumes us. So, we did what we had to do: we sacrificed one small upstairs bedroom for a spacious laundry room with space for washer, dryer, ironing, steaming, storage, and, best of all, lines for air drying the kids’ clothes. Yes, one of the kids may complain in their teenage years that this could have been his/her bedroom, but laundry won the day and aforementioned teenager will have to share with his/her siblings. 

What would you prioritize in your “dream home” with little ones?

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Farayha is living on parenting books and a prayer. She is mom to three under four and a full-time corporate lawyer. Farayha is also a professional zucchini hider, an aspiring non-yeller, and a MagnaTiles savant. Follow her on Instagram @farayha where she shares tips for hiding in the bathroom long enough to make it through each social media app and perfecting that freshly-showered look on your week-old hair. Farayha no longer looks anything like the pre-kids headshot you see here.


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