Leslie Cain: 7 ‘new parent’ guidelines to buying a house

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Deciding where to live can be a challenge, and even more so when you want to find the best home and neighborhood for your children. If you are a new parent looking to buy your first house or your next home, here are seven important features to consider:

Open Floor Plan

When children are young, it is helpful to have them in clear sight. While separate bonus rooms are great for older kids, they are not ideal for toddlers who need to be supervised. More families choose the great room concept with the kitchen, dining room and family room all open to one another.

Location of the Bedrooms

Many new parents tend to focus solely on the size of the bedrooms when looking for a new home for their growing family. However, once in the home, the location of the bedrooms can become just as important as the size.

School District Ratings

Check-out the ratings and quality of the schools in the area, from early-learning programs on up through high school. Also, determine how your child (or children) will be getting to and from school. If they are close enough to walk, are there any dangerous streets they need to cross? If they will ride the bus, how long is the ride.


Being able to walk to at least a few amenities can be a real perk. Packing up the family, with strollers and car seats, and always having to travel in an automobile can be burdensome. Also, being able to walk places serves a multitude of purposes – exercise, spending time outdoors, and saving gas!

Spacious Backyard

Look for a home with a yard large enough to accommodate a growing family. Is the yard safe? If there is a deck, does it have solid stairs and a railing? On the flip side, you need to remember that maintaining a large yard takes time and money, so find a good balance for you and your family.


While one of the best location options for children is a cul-de-sac, not every buyer can hold out for that specific of a location. However, you can strive to find a home with sidewalks throughout the neighborhood. Sidewalks offer an extra layer of safety, and are highly desirable during the stroller and trike stage.

Good Neighbors

Granted, it can be challenging to find out all about the neighbors before moving to a new neighborhood. However, you can check with friends who may live in the area or nearby; and you can ask questions about specific neighborhoods in online community forums.

For more local homeowner information or to find a licensed real estate professional, please contact the Sierra Nevada Realtors at 775-885-7200 or SierraNevadaRealtors.org. Sierra Nevada Realtors is the voice of real estate in Carson-Lyon-Douglas-Churchill and the surrounding areas. They are committed to building better communities throughout the region, and participating in the political process to protect the industry as well as private property rights.

Leslie Cain is President of Sierra Nevada Realtors and a Realtor with RE/MAX Realty Affiliates in Carson City. Leslie has been active in the real estate industry for nearly 14 years and is very passionate about the Northern Nevada community. She holds several certifications including Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), and Senior’s Real Estate Specialist (SRES). Leslie can be reached at Leslie@LeslieCain.com or 775-781-1386.


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