Parenting

Picking a House for a Growing Family

After spending a little less than a week house hunting in Texas, it was amazing how I just naturally found myself looking at homes based on what my son might need in the future.

Going into the house hunting, I knew that we needed a minimum of three bedrooms. One for my wife and I, a room for my son, and then a guest room. But as I started thinking, I realized that 3 bedrooms wouldn’t be enough if we end up having another kid.

So, right off the bat, we found ourselves looking for more house than we would have thought we needed a year ago.

But as I was looking at houses, I saw my mind wandering again to my growing family and its needs, in ways I couldn’t have anticipated.

For example, as I was looking at back yards, the measurement I was using was ‘is this back yard big enough to fit a pitching mound? Could my son practice pitching at the 60-foot distance in our backyard when he gets older?

My son is one year old and has just started to toddle around on his own, and I found myself wondering whether he’d be able to practice pitching in our backyard. I don’t even know if he’ll like baseball!

As I was touring houses, I found myself looking at the floor and wondering whether I would let my son crawl or play on this carpeting. The houses with old or disgusting carpeting were tossed from our list, simply for that reason.

The houses that I thought I liked a lot based on the online listings ended up being duds when I saw them in person. For example, one house looked great online but in person, I found out that the house has the storm runoff for the entire neighborhood rushing through the backyard. It looked almost like the LA river, and the thought of my son falling into the ditch was enough to cross that home off as well.

But I started looking at other things too. Is the house on a culdesac or a busy street? What are the school districts rated? Are there parks nearby? Could I picture Max Jr trick-or-treating in this neighborhood? Are there any registered sex offenders in the neighborhood? Does the HOA have a pool in case he really enjoys swimming?

I even found myself looking to see if there were high-tension power lines nearby, even though I don’t even believe the claim that those power lines are linked to childhood cancers.

Now, these are some of the basics that you’re supposed to consider when purchasing a home for a growing family. But I found myself considering them all just naturally. And it was… cool.

I mean, I stopped myself once I started looking at High School football rankings. I was actually considering weighing houses based on the football records of the high school teams… thirteen years before my son would even suit up for a game.

They say that your whole world changes when you have a kid and it starts being about him, not you. Instead of caring about whether the family room wall would fit an 82″ screen or the garage could fit my workshop, I was worried about my son playing sports when he can’t even run yet.

It was a cool moment of self awareness to notice my priorities shifting like this…

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