If you're buying a home and planning on having kids in that home in the near future, there are certain big features you're likely looking for. You're probably looking for three or more bedrooms, several bathrooms, and a safe yard, for instance. These big features are important, but when your children arrive, there are several other, smaller home features that are likely to come in handy. Here's a look at four smaller things to look for in a home you plan on raising children in.
A Utility Sink
When they're little, you can use it to wash out soiled clothing. When they get a little older, it's the perfect place for boots and play clothes that are way too muddy to go straight in a washer. A utility sink will make the messy life as a parent so much easier and will save your bath tub from a lot of abuse.
A Bathtub with a Standard Shower Curtain
You might think a bathtub/shower enclosure with a sliding door looks luxurious and elegant, but when your kids arrive, it will prove far more of a hassle than a standard tub with a curtain closure. Doors must be pushed to the side, so you really only have access to half of the tub at a time. This is a pain when scrubbing a temperamental toddler. A shower curtain can be opened the whole way, giving you easier access to the child you're bathing and the faucet at the same time.
Doors on the Stairways
Modern home plans seem to favor wide, open staircases. While attractive, these are a bad idea for children, since they are nearly impossible to block off with a baby gate. Ideally, a home you'll raise children in should have doors that enclose the staircase, which you can lock to keep toddlers from taking a tumble. However, staircases with no doors can be suitable as long as there are full walls on both sides of the stairs so you can block them off with a baby gate.
An Eat-In Kitchen
Make sure there is at least room for a small table in the kitchen. When you have young kids, you won't want to leave them along in the dining room while you run back into the kitchen to grab something else for their meal. Having an eat-in kitchen lets you sit them at the table while you prepare and serve their meal and never have them out of your sight.