Amy Miller
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All Rights Reserved.

Evaluate Homes for Your Current and Future Family Needs

When my husband and I bought our first house, we tried to anticipate the needs of the babies we hoped to have. The house had 3 bedrooms, a big flat level yard for playing, and was in a top rated school district. What we did not foresee was that the spiral floating staircase would necessitate extensive custom babyproofing when we had a cruising toddler.

The "open plan" layout which had been great for adult entertaining later became problematic when the happy noise of children was channeled throughout the house. The ski-slope driveway leading to our wooded aerie created a private retreat for we two. When we became four, the first sign of snow on our driveway led to playdates hurriedly cancelled by nervous friends.

When buying a home, it's important to look at your future needs as well as your current ones. According to the National Association of Home Builders some important things to consider are :

Lifestyle Do you entertain frequently? Do you have plans to grow your family? Do you need rooms to retreat for privacy?

Size Square footage does not always equal useable space. Consider the placement of furniture in the space. How will each room flow into other rooms?

Openness Open plans work well with traffic flow, but also channel noise from one room to another. With this type of plan, do you want to create a private room such as a library or small den off a larger room?

Parents moving with children should not assume that the optimum arrangement is one child per bedroom. Same sex children may prefer to share a room, especially if that's been the arrangement in their prior home. "When children are young, they gain a feeling of security from another's presence, and a sibling can be a real comfort at bedtime" says Patricia Dalton Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and family therapist in Washington, D.C. "Parents should not feel guilty if they cannot provide each child with their own room, as there can be benefits to sharing a bedroom". Independence can be gained when siblings work issues out together, without their parents' mediation, Dr. Dalton also noted.

For those with new babies, child safety is a key concern. According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission.

2.5 million children are injured or killed by hazards in the home each year. Many of these incidents can be avoided by childproofing your home. "A knowledgeable sales person at your local baby store or an in-home safety consultant or "baby proofer" can help you find products to meet your home's unique needs and possibly even identify problem areas you haven't considered" says Debora Robertson, Group Publications Manager of the Expectant Mother's Guide Series

If you have hand-me-down products, you should check that they meet current safety standards and have not been recalled. You can do this at the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association consumer section at or The Danny Foundation for Crib and Child Product Safety,

Written by Margo Rudman Gold

Wondering What Your Home Is Worth? -- Let me show you.

Amy Miller, Realtor
cell 727 421 4797
Fax 727-944 5391

Office 727 375 7075 ext 209