Hampshire is one of the most beautiful counties in the country in which to live and offers many types of homes. So what do you need look for when buying for
David believes the ideal property to buy when you have a baby is somewhere you can get out and walk but that is not in the middle of nowhere. He suggests a village like Lyndhurst or Brockenhurst in the New Forest - all the delight and charm of the country, yet shops, travel links and civilisation as well. David says he often finds parents with new born babies move straight into the country, not realising just how isolated they are to become. It is best to strike a balance.
The house should also suit your new needs. A utility room for example is ideal for new parents who don’t yet realise just how often the washing machine is going to be put on! It is also a good idea to look for a separate sitting room to give yourselves a little space of your own, away from the toys and paraphernalia.
Gardens at this stage do not need to be large, but they are more attractive if they are flat and have direct access to and from the back door. Little feet can trip easily and gardens which slope are not usually so successful with small children. Safety is an important consideration when looking at the garden. Ponds for example may mean you can’t let your little ones run freely. A clever example of aesthetically pleasing safety has been demonstrated in the garden of the house pictured below with a swimming pool.
Safety glass has been installed all around the swimming pool to separate the area from the garden. You can just imagine relaxing by the pool and not having to worry about the kids - in sight but out of danger!
As the baby grows to around the age of 4-5 or another one comes along, it is common for parents to consider moving. Usually an extra bedroom is needed so the step from 3 to 4 or 5 bedrooms is common. Generally, gardens take on a bigger priority. This is the age when children need to burn off that energy they constantly seem to have. It would be great to let them run around or kick a ball outside but within the safe confines of the garden.
Kitchens with attached open plan rooms for sitting and dining are popular with families these days. The trend is away from traditional dining rooms. Families now tend to congregate around the kitchen area. With open plan comes the beauty of not isolating yourselves from one another. You can still feel you are spending time together as a family although one of you may be cooking while the other members of the family are relaxing in the lounge.
Many parents also feel a need for a little space and luxury of their own. A dressing room and en-suite bathroom with a large relaxing bedroom are popular - somewhere parents can ‘treat themselves’ at the end of the day.
David gave us lots of other advice and tips to consider. He recommends looking for off street parking. Having direct access to your drive, especially when you have a buggy or lots of heavy shopping. Struggling home, or perhaps up steep steps is bound to be stressful and cause irritation. Think too about the type of flooring the house has. When learning to walk, small babies are constantly falling down and hard floors may hurt and bruise. Natural wood floors may splinter, and tiles can become slippery and dangerous.
But the best piece of advice David had for us was the top-design tip he had picked up from a viewing one day. In the middle of the playroom floor was a panel you simply lifted up and swept the toys into. What a fantastic toy box and great way to keep the house tidy!