How to Choose a Family Friendly Apartment
When you’re looking for an apartment to suit your entire brood, there are many things to consider. Does it have enough space? Will the kids like it? How far is it from work? These are just the tip of the iceberg, though. Ranked just beneath the big issues are a slew of potential problems that could arise if you pick the wrong home for your family. That won’t happen to you, though, because we’ve compiled this list of deal breakers for families on the apartment hunt:
- Laundry in-unit. Even if you only have one child it can be hard to stay on top of the laundry. It gets even harder if you have to go to the laundromat—or worse, drag along your kids to the laundromat. Insist on an apartment with laundry in-unit or, at the very least, on-site. Taking the kids down a few floors to pop clothes in the washing machine is much easier than loading them into the car and heading to the laundromat.
- At least two bathrooms. When your family expands beyond two, you really need at least two bathrooms. If you have teenagers (or pre-teens on the brink), you might even want to shoot for three. When everyone is up and at ‘em in the morning, the bathroom can quickly become the most crowded space in the apartment. Offset this problem by making sure everyone has plenty of space to primp.
- Ample storage space. Whether it’s an excess of toys or a glut of collectibles, every family comes with their stuff. That means every family should also find an apartment that has enough storage space to hold their specific stuff. If you and your clan aren’t pack rats, this might just be a matter of a few extra closets. However, if you have too much stuff to fit into a hallway closet or two, you might want to inquire about storage units in the building (or at least nearby).
- A safe neighborhood. Of course, one of the most important considerations when it comes to finding a family-friendly apartment is the safety of your kids. Make sure you check out a neighborhood thoroughly before relocating your family there. You can find its crime statistics and public school ratings online, or do things the old-fashioned ways: ask the neighbors what they think of the community when you see an apartment.
- Friends nearby. When you visit a potential apartment, consider the other families who live in the building. Do they have kids around your age? If so, your children would likely be happy there. Parents, too, might take into consideration whether or not they see potential for friendship with their neighbors. Try to get a feel for the general age of residents and whether or not they’re family-oriented like you are.
- Proximity to school. If there are kids living in your neighborhood, chances are the nearest school isn’t too far. Find out where the bus stop is located to ensure that you feel comfortable having your child wait there every morning.
- Family-friendly entertainment in the area. Ok, so this one might not exactly be a deal breaker, but it’s still a good point to keep in mind. If possible, find a neighborhood where the nearest movie theater or family-friendly restaurant is within walking distance. The library, the park, and the public pool are also good attractions to have nearby on a summer’s day.
Attribution: CC BY-SA 2.0/ Flickr/Mario Sanchez Prada