Buying A House For Your Blended Family
Buying a house with your partner can be a challenging process as two sometimes diverse desires and expectations collide. Buying a house that will accommodate the needs of a blended family can be even more challenging with multiple players weighing in.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the rate of divorce and remarriage has had a steady increase since Family Law changes in 1975. This has resulted in a rise in blended families, which is more common than ever before. Nowadays, it is quite familiar for a mother to be a parent to her own 2-year-old daughter and become a parent to a four-year-old and an eight-year-old from her partner’s previous marriage. Add in the arrival of a new baby with her current partner and we have a housing crisis! Not. Enough. Bedrooms. But are bedrooms the only thing you need to consider when hunting for the perfect pad for your tribe?
Experts at Parents.com believe it typically takes between two and five years for a stepfamily to establish itself. With a potential bumpy road ahead, we have compiled a list of common things to consider when buying a house for your blended family.
Consider your ideal budget with your partner, keeping in mind that house payments are most achievable if they are 25-33 percent of your income. Make sure you choose a range that you can afford as you may have two houses that need selling. It is best to wait until one of your houses has sold before purchasing a new home for your blended family.
Consider the proximity to schools, and to your ex-spouse’s house. This will make drop offs and collections easier.
Involve the children
Ask each child for input about what is important for them to have in their new home. It is best to involve the kids at the beginning of the process when you are driving by and looking at houses and at the end when you believe you have found a place that will work well and they can inspect it with you.
Consider a house with several floors, so that your kids can have a number of options where they can hang out with or without others. Look for a house that has a master bedroom away from the other bedrooms so that you and your partner have your own space also.
Children who visit, but don’t live in the house full time, could share a bedroom. Give children the opportunity to make decisions about decorating their rooms so that they feel valued and ‘at home’ in their new environment.
In a large family, having a separate bathroom for boys and girls is ideal. Having a separate bathroom from the children especially for you and your partner is also beneficial.