Unlike young marrieds or singles, families with children need certain things when they are buying a home in Northern Virginia. This generally means more bedrooms, bathtubs instead of standalone showers, and placement in a good school district (whether that is the best school districts in Arlington county, Fairfax, Loudoun, or Prince William counties. But those are the obvious ones. When you have kids, there are essential checkpoints that you must cross off for any house to be a good fit. Some of them aren’t immediately obvious, which means that you should do some research before hitting the “for sale” trail. The following are things to keep in mind when buying a home if you have young children.

1. Where are the bedrooms?

Of course, you need enough bedrooms for your brood. But, when considering a house, you also need to scope out the layout of the bedrooms. Some parents prefer to have a room right next to their kids, while others need some space to escape from the chaos. If your house has multiple bedrooms, are they all on the same floor? Most parents prefer to be on the same floor on their kids, or for their kids to have rooms higher up from them. If you have a baby, or are planning on having more children in the future, the placement of the nursery is very important as well. 

2. What’s your view of the yard like?

Most parents buying a home want a big yard where the kids can run and play. But most parents also don’t want to have to go outside and supervise every time the children want to play in the yard. That’s why it’s important that you have a good view of the yard from inside the house. Whether it’s a broad kitchen window that looks over the back yard, or panoramic views from your family room, you can make sure that your children and their friends aren’t getting up to too many shenanigans. 

3. What’s within walking distance? 

In a place with a lovely climate like Northern Virginia, it’s a pleasure to walk places instead of bundling the kids in the car and wasting gas and sunshine. If you love to run errands on foot, you should vet any prospective neighborhoods for their walkability to amenities. Proximity to a park is priceless, especially if you have older kids who can bike off on their own. Is there a grocery store down the street? How about the schools? Can you walk the kids to school, or can they hop a skateboard and go on their own? This is a critical consideration for many families. 

What matters to one parent may not even register on another’s radar, but these are just a few common features that every family should consider when buying a home.