Are you looking to move to the suburbs with kids? Don’t make the same mistakes that I did! When I first moved to the suburbs, I was pregnant with my first child so I thought I knew what I needed. We moved from the city coming from a 1 bedroom condo and this was our first time buying a single-family home. We ended up with a little ranch in the suburbs which would have been perfect for the 2 of us without kids. But once we had our daughter, we quickly realized the house was not a good fit for us. We sold it after 2 years and moved again. If I had known what I knew now, I wouldn’t have bought that home and it would have saved us from moving twice (the second time with a toddler!). Here is what you need to know when moving to the suburbs with kids.
What You Need When You Move to the Suburbs with Kids
You will need a playroom
I really underestimated the need for a playroom. The ranch that we bought had a big eat-in next to the kitchen with space for a little play area at the side. I thought that was enough. I was wrong! Don’t underestimate the need for a dedicated space for toys. If you don’t dedicate a space for your children’s toys then you will start seeing toys everywhere. There will be piles of toys in your kitchen, family room, living room, bedrooms, and hallways. The clutter of toys will take over your house. You will need a playroom to store all the toys. Most people use their basements as their playroom. However, if you don’t have a finished basement, you can designate a room in the house to use as a playroom. If your
Mudrooms are Important
Mudrooms are important when you move to the suburbs with kids. This is especially true if you live in the northeast where you will track snow or mud into the house, you will want a mudroom to come into so you can leave your boots and shoes and hang up your coats/jackets. In our first home, we did not have a mudroom so when we entered the house, we walked right into our living room which was not ideal because aside from tracking mud into the house, we were piling up our coats and shoes by the front door. Ideally, you will want a mudroom with cubbies to store coats, jackets and multiple sports equipment.
As your kids get older, you will find the ever-increasing need for sports equipment storage. And you have to take into account the different sports seasons- in the winter, you need space for your daughter’s ice skating bag and your son’s ice hockey bag and in the spring, you need space for baseball and softball bags. You will need to plan where to store these sports equipment as you switch it out every season (the basement is great for this or the garage). You also want to keep the bags organized so you can easily grab the bags when you need them. Mudroom cubbies are great because you can designate a cubby for each person and everyone will know where to put their jackets/coats, shoes and bags.
Attached Garage is a Plus
You may not think this is essential but it will make your life so much easier to have an attached garage. If budget allows it, try to get a house with an attached garage. During the winter, when the temperature drops below freezing, you will be happy you have an attached garage. I remember when my youngest child used to nap in the car, it was always so much easier transferring him into the house from the garage without having to worry about the cold. Also, when it snows, it will save you a lot of time in the morning because you don’t have to clean your car. You can just get in your car and drive off.
Make room for your Guests
When you move to the suburbs with kids, you will definitely need a guest room. Get a house with an extra room that you can use as a guest room. Prior to having kids, we rarely had family come to visit. Once we had kids, we had frequent visits from both my parents and my in-laws. I actually love having them as guests because they help me with the kids. I remember in our first home, we didn’t have a guest room. They stayed on the pull-out sofa in the family room. Between the pile of toys and hosting them on a pull-out sofa, it was very uncomfortable for all. If your budget allows it, get a home with an extra room that you can use as a guest room. Otherwise, you can plan to have a dedicated space such as a finished basement or an office that you can use as a guest room.
Storage Space is Essential
When you have kids, you end up accumulating a lot of stuff. Don’t underestimate how much storage you will need. Look for a house with lots of storage space. Is there a basement to store extra stuff? Is there room in the garage for shelving so you can store holiday decorations and seasonal ski rentals. Is there a storage shed for outdoor equipment and tools? Is there an attic to store empty luggage? You definitely need a home with lots of storage otherwise your home will be cluttered with stuff!
When you move to the suburbs with kids, it is more complicated than moving as a couple. You definitely need more space and there are more things to consider when you are moving to the suburbs with kids.
You may also be interested in:
About Suburbs 101
Suburbs 101 is an online lifestyle guide for the New York Suburbs of Westchester County, Long Island, Fairfield County and Northern New Jersey. Get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to live in the New York suburbs through our interviews with local suburbanites and features on Food, Fashion, Home, Travel, and Local Events. Be sure to Follow Us on Instagram, Like Us on Facebook and subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter.