How to Choose an Apartment for Family Living
Choosing an apartment for your family comes with some challenges that homeowners and home renters don’t have to face. There are space and budget considerations, of course, but there are plenty of other challenges to deal with, too. If you and your family will be moving into an apartment soon, then here are four things you’ll want to consider before you move.
When you move into an apartment, your family may sacrifice living space, meaning that you may have to downsize. That’s where moving into a family-friendly rental unit can help. These units have outside areas, like playgrounds, where children can play freely. Many also often have clubhouses, pools, and other amenities.
These “extra” areas help to extend your living space without adding to the cost of rent. So, when you’re looking at your apartment rental listings, make sure to look into rentals that advertise family-friendly spaces. Public parks, swimming pools, and common entertainment centers can all be great benefits to families of all sizes with children of any age.
When you move into an apartment, there’s no getting around that there will be neighbors sharing walls and floors with you. That’s why having features, like thicker walls, private backyard space, and other sound-cutting amenities can be a major benefit. This is particularly important for those who have infants, as the sound of one crying baby can initiate the same response in other infants that hear it.
The other thing you want to consider along the same vein is what floor you’re on. The top floor will save you from having to listen to footsteps above you, but it will also come with the price of maneuvering strollers and groceries upstairs or elevators. Bottom floors can be more convenient in this case but will come with more noise. Every floor carries its own upsides and downsides, so consider carefully what is most important to your family.
According to US News and World Report, parents need to do a bit of their own research into schools because real estate agents are no longer allowed to give their opinion on the schools in the area. The same goes for property managers. While this rule makes sense in terms of preventing conflicts of interest in the advice you are given, this does affect you and your apartment hunt.
You don’t want to move into an apartment that is in a district with low-quality schools. This is especially important to consider for parents of children who need specialized programs, whether that be for advanced placement programs or for special education services. To get around this, do your homework first, and then go looking for apartments in the school districts that you like the best. Bring your kids along and speak to the teachers that they may be placed with so you can get a feel for what schools will be the best fit for your family’s needs.
Sometimes, the number of rooms you think you need for apartment living isn’t what you actually need as one recent episode of House Hunters International demonstrates. The example is a bit extreme, meaning that most people looking at apartments for their family of five aren’t moving halfway around the world. However, the episode deals with an important topic: How many bedrooms should a family get in their new apartment?
In this case, the family in question ultimately decided on two bedrooms, one for mom and dad and one for two of their three boys. Their oldest son was about ready to go to college as of the filming of the episode, so the couple decides just to invest in an extra bed and put it in the living room for their eldest son.
Often, families moving into apartments will need to make strategic use of space in this way. Grouping kids together in shared rooms may not always be avoidable when looking for an affordable family apartment. The way you group them should take into consideration the age of the children, their personalities, and anything else that may influence their compatibility as roommates. If you plan to remain in the same apartment for years to come, be sure to consider possible additions to the family, as well.
Finding the right apartment for you and your family isn’t just a matter of finding the right number of bedrooms and a bath. You need to find a space that allows your family to thrive. The four tips in this post offer options for you to consider in terms of amenities, location, and the physical building itself. While some of the features you’ll be looking for would be the same as when you’re moving into a house, others will be different. By being mindful of those differences, you have a better chance of getting an apartment that’s right for you and yours.
By Meghan Belnap
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.
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