Starting a family means you must make decisions based not only on your personal preferences but also on the welfare of your spouse and children. That includes deciding where you would live.
While most families choose townhouses and villas, those aren’t necessarily the only feasible choices you have. After all, it’s not always possible to find a house that offers everything you and your family could ever need.
With that said, you shouldn’t remove apartments from your options yet. You might be surprised how an apartment can become a more suitable choice for a growing family.
To boost your chances of selecting the perfect one, here are six things you need to think about before you go apartment hunting for your first family home:
1. A realistic budget
There’s nothing more practical than considering how much you can afford first before looking for apartments for sale in Dubai. This can protect you from the tempting fantasies you may be having for your first home.
While the “sky’s the limit” approach can seem quite irresistible, this kind of thinking is often what gets you into a dilemma of unpaid rent or mortgage after just a few months of staying in your new apartment.
The best way to set your expectations straight is to come up with a realistic apartment budget.
Assess your family income with your spouse and talk about all your dreams and goals. Then, factor in regular family expenses to determine a safe amount you can set aside for your apartment.
The 50/30/20 guideline states that 50% of your budget should be allocated to necessities, 30% to wants, and 20% should be set aside for savings. You may have also heard that domestic expenses should not account for more than 30% of your budget. Despite the fact that there are several various approaches to budgeting, you should always feel confident in your ability to cover the costs of your home and other necessities while still having money left over to spend on the things you want and save for the future. If you think it could be difficult to fit the rent into your budget when you’re looking at new homes, it might be a smart idea to reconsider.
2. Cost of living
Besides the apartment price, you must also consider the average cost of living in the area you’re considering. Take note of the living expenses common among families of the same size as yours to make it as appropriate to your situation as possible.
If you’re planning to rent, research the typical rental rates in the community. The same goes for average real estate prices. Search here to find out all the latest house listings on Rentberry where you can come up with an affordable rental rate for the long-term for your family.
In case you’re willing to pay more for a specific location, you should consider cutting back on some expenses.
Remember that an unusually low rent (something you can classify as “too good to be true”) might mean there could be a huge red flag hidden behind the deal. The bottom line is to make sure you understand the market before shopping around and negotiating the price.
3. A safe neighborhood
‘It takes a village to raise a child.’
This African proverb shows the importance of choosing the right neighbourhood for your family home.
Like everything else that matters, the perfect apartment for rent must be located in a safe community. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to spend a lot of money for a unit inside an exclusive village (though no one is stopping you if you have the cash to spare).
The most important thing is to double-check the neighbourhood’s security. Take note of whether it is a conducive place to raise children and whether there are any safety concerns.
In this aspect, Dubai is an excellent choice because not only is the UAE considered one of the safest nations globally, but this city also has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.
4. Easy access to schools
If you plan on raising your children (or future children) in your apartment, you should make sure that you pick one with easy access to good schools. In fact, looking for a school first is one of the most effective ways to narrow down your apartment search.
Consider looking into the local school districts. The more information you get, the better you can choose.
Below are a few examples of the things you should ask about:
- The classroom’s teacher-to-child ratio
- Average test scores
- School reputation
- School transportation system or drop-off
5. Proximity to basic child-friendly amenities
Besides schools, you also need to consider an apartment’s proximity to all other amenities you could ever need for raising children, like daycare centres and playgrounds. It also includes basic necessities such as grocery stores, hospitals, pharmacies, and medical services.
It also pays to have a nearby fitness centre, library, park, and other places you and your family can visit to maintain your overall well-being.
6. Necessary apartment features
Different families have different needs, which could be the basis of their criteria for what they can consider the perfect apartment. That means what may work for others may not work for you.
Decide on your priorities with your family and make a list of what features are a must and which ones you feel would be good to have before visiting potential apartments to buy or rent.
Ideally, families need big spaces to accommodate a sizeable dining table and chairs, beds, and living room furniture you intend to bring before committing to a specific apartment size.
Is there enough space to hang your clothes dry after washing? Does the rent include a parking space for your car, or does that come with an additional cost?
You’ll want to think about storage as well, especially for toys, clothes, and items that’ll make your life comfortable in your new home.
Finally, don’t forget to check if the structure complies with the local building code and safety regulations.
7. Are Pets Allowed?
It’s important to determine whether your pet is permitted to reside there if you are moving with a furry buddy. Even though they don’t market it, some rental places allow pets if you pay a monthly pet deposit to cover any additional costs they could incur there.
Despite the fact that many apartment buildings permit dogs, many often have breed limitations. You should be aware of and carefully research the restricted breed list prior to signing your lease because these restrictions differ from apartment to apartment. Pit bulls, German shepherds, boxers, rottweilers, Huskies, and other breeds are frequently listed on prohibited breed lists for flats.
8. Available parking
It’s important to have enough room if you, any members of your household, own a car or expect visitors to arrive in their cars. Find out if there is an additional charge for covered spaces and whether parking is available on the street or in a lot.
A few apartment buildings demand that visitors park in a specific spot, use an app to check in, or obtain a guest card from residents. In either case, it’s essential for visitors to understand the parking policies.
9. Noise check
When you first visit, it can appear calm, but take a time to be still and pay attention to the sounds in the area. Be sure it won’t be too loud when working or sleeping, whether it be from automobiles outside, kids playing, or dogs barking. Try to visit the apartment between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM to assess how noisy the adjacent traffic is if it is next to a freeway or busy street.
10. Double check utilities covered
Last but not least, staying within your budget requires that you comprehend what utilities are covered by your lease and monthly payments. Find out who your suppliers are for heating, water, Wi-Fi, television, and other services, then include it into your budgeting.
A Perfect Home for Your Family
Who says you can’t raise a family in an apartment?
With the right size, location, and features, apartments for rent or sale can be as good as any house or villa so long as it serves your family goals.
These are crucial points that will assist you in your quest for a new family dwelling. You may select a wonderful home for your family as long as you are conscious of your wants and preferences. You might need to make some sacrifices, but no matter what, always make sure that your family lives in a secure and reasonably priced apartment.