How to Find the Perfect Family Home

by Dick Stoner 09/08/2019

Looking for the perfect place to call home? Is your vision of home that iconic white-picket fence ranch in the suburbs? Or, do you love the walkability of an urban neighborhood? Do you dream of a large backyard with room to host the neighborhood barbecue? How about being near to great schools? Extensive libraries or museums? Sports facilities? A neighborhood park? A nearby school?

Every year, various rankings for cities make it into the new: Best Cities to Live in America; Where to Life; Best Places to Live; Best Small Towns; Best Cities for Millennials; Top Ten Cities for [insert demographic here]. 

Investigate before you head across town … or across the country. 
The perfect location for someone else may not be the perfect home for you. Before chasing someone else’s dream, consider these factors that might better inform your home search:

Think about what’s important for you.
Do you value more space, better schools, a larger home? Or, does being near family and long-time friends give you a sense of “home,” of belonging? Do you want to be nearer work, so the commute is shorter, giving more time for “life”? These are not new questions. Families have moved from cities to the suburbs and back again for decades.

Consider what you might be giving up.
Moving to the city might mean access to cultural events, restaurants, a short commute, while the suburbs might offer that large home with a yard, or the perfect school. In either event, a move might take you away from friends, or give you the opportunity to make new ones.

Is it Family Friendly?

The criteria researchers use to determining a location's "family friendliness" include:

- Job market
- Commuter times and delays
- Crime rates
- School rankings
- Median household income
- Cost of living index
- Home affordability
- The percentage of homeownership

Different cities rank differently in each category in different years, so don’t just rely on the most recent reports to determine where you might want to live. Check back over the past few years and look for trends … Are the schools improving? Is there more dedicated greenspace? Has public transportation improved? Are the demographics change?

If you have school-age children, don’t just look at the elementary schools. In no time at all, your starry-eyed first-grader will be approaching graduation. It’s not all about academics either. Children need exposure to other opportunities and extra-curricular activities as well.

On the other hand, if you’re thinking of starting a family, you also need to check out hospital maternity suites (or birthing alternatives), daycare facilities, toddler playgrounds and opportunities for young parents to gather.

Of course, none of the lists, rankings, and surveys matter if the commute from your job is so long that you’ll miss out on all your kids’ ballgames and activities.

The perfect place for you to call home and to raise a family might be a new place where you’re sharing a new adventure together … but it might just be the neighborhood you know best and have already called “home.”

No matter what you determine, utilizing an expert real estate professional can match you up with the perfect place you, and your family will make into the home you’re looking for. 

About the Author
Author

Dick Stoner

Reist Corporation was incorporated in 1994 to renovate and restore commercial, industrial and residential buildings. Working from a 200+ year old farm in Washington County, MD , we have restored barns, warehouses, and even WWII Army buildings in Central MD. We maintain expertise in zoning and land use issues, and we stay abreast of market conditions and changing market statistics. We welcome the opportunity to work with buyers and tenants who wish to take advantage of current market conditions to lock in long term deals at favorable rates. Those able to sign 5 - 10 year leases in commercial transactions right now, are able to obtain the best rates in over 10 years, and those able to purchase are able to get pre-2005 prices on many types of buildings and land. On residential transactions, we continue to help buyers of bank-owned and short sale properties. We welcome the opportunity to work with you on your challenges, and we pay generous referral fees to agents from other areas who wish to utilize our services on Maryland property transactions

Certifications

Since 2002, I have worked on some of the largest real estate database systems in America. I have introduced online marketplace products to areas that were using residential MLS products for commercial real estate information, and I have worked on the expansion of some of America's largest real estate data systems in some of the largest MSA's in the country. Research is key to many commercial real estate valuation projects, and our firms' knowledge about how these systems work can help you reach the best information about other transactions in your area. We are active in Land Preservation programs and environmental offsets which can sometimes bring additional revenue that is crucial to making a transaction work. Nutrient offset credits in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed have become a new component in the valuation of active farmland and for many rural properties which involve environmental features like streams, woodlands, pastureland, etc. We've partnered with the experts at Blueline Conservation Incentives, LLC in Northern Virginia on nutrient offset and land preservation programs and together we are part of a team with expertise in all of the Middle Atlantic States as they strive to meet WIP - Watershed Improvement Plans in order to meet the 2017 and 2025 water quality goals that were set by the 2010 Chesapeake Bay Plan. 

Awards

2009 -MD Historical Trust -Award for Project Excellence in the Restoration of Frieda's Cottage at Chestnut Lodge in Rockville, MD