Should You Buy a House Before or After You Have Kids?
If you’re planning to have children in the future, you may be trying to decide if you should buy a house now or wait until after you expand your family. Just know, there is no right or wrong answer.
Benefits of Buying a House Before You Have Children
Shopping for a new home is easier without young kids in tow. You’ll be able to visit several houses, choose the one that you think is best, then pack up your possessions, move to your new home and settle in without having to worry about taking care of your little ones.
Moving costs are based on the amount and weight of the items you move. Kids tend to have a lot of clothes, toys and books. The smaller your family is, the less items there will be to move to your new house. Moving before you grow your family will therefore be less expensive than moving after you have kids.
Routines and predictability make children feel safe. Moving is disruptive, even for adults. For kids, it can be confusing and overwhelming. If you buy a house and settle in before you have children, they will be spared the stress of moving.
Also, if you move into your new home before welcoming a new child, you’ll have time to renovate, paint, install new flooring, replace the windows and handle other projects. You won’t have to worry about how making home improvements will affect a child’s mood, routine or sleep schedule.
Reasons to Buy a House After You Have Kids
The early months are an important time for bonding between parents and a baby. If you put a home purchase on the back burner, you’ll have a chance to focus on bonding with a new child.
Parents sometimes choose a house that they think will be ideal for their growing family, then realize that it doesn’t work as well as they expected. If you have one or more children before you move, you may notice some drawbacks of your current home’s design, which can help you make a better choice when looking for your next home.
New parents are often surprised by how quickly child-related expenses can add up. Food, clothing, diapers and other essentials may take up a significant portion of your budget. If you put off a house purchase until after you have a child, you’ll have a more accurate idea of how much you can afford.
A mortgage lender will consider your and your partner’s income when evaluating your application. If one of you is on unpaid parental leave when you apply for a home loan, you may be unable to qualify for a mortgage. Buying a home when you’re both back at work and bringing in a steady income may improve your chance of getting approved for a loan.