How Having a Kid Changed My View Of ”Dream” Home

My husband and I were desperate to get into a home as soon as possible after marriage. We had been living in a small one bedroom apartment and were quickly running out of space. As it was, we were taking up real estate in my in-laws basement with all of our camping supplies and seasonal stuff.

We were desperate for more space and wanted to establish something of our own. We also had quite a bit of pressure from the world to ”buy now”. We were young, and really had no idea what exactly we were getting into. Long story short, we knew the house we bought wouldn’t be our ‘‘forever home”. We didn’t live in the house long before we quickly started a list of things we must have in our next home.

I grew up in a very non-traditional bungalow. It was an old farm cottage that my optimistic father tried to renovate himself but had many oversights against my mothers wishes, like no closets outside of the bedrooms and no outlet in the bathroom. It was charming but incredibly annoying to store towels in my sisters bedroom closet because she had the biggest one. When my husband and I started house hunting my naive must-have list wasn’t much beyond closet space, and a bathroom with an outlet. I didn’t think much about layout of bedrooms, yard maintenance, or general layout.

house with kids

Our current home is a pretty standard split entry layout. There are a lot of things I really hate about this house, like the lack of entryway. Seriously only one person can comfortably get in the door and coat/shoes off, also we have no entry-way storage. All the things I dislike about the house very quickly turned into a list that my dream home must have. Then kids happened and rocked my world again.

Before we had our daughter, I didn’t understand the need for an ensuite bathroom. Neither my husband or I grew up with an ensuite in our homes and we’ve always managed just fine. Now, with company constantly popping over and a tub full of bath toys, I get it. We only have one full bathroom in the house (half bath downstairs) so having an ensuite is very appealing. I don’t need a fancy jacuzzi bathtub or anything but I do like the idea of my husband and I having our own private bathroom space.

Like many people, I love the kitchen. We have an updated kitchen in our house now, but again there are many things I would do differently if we could re-do it. I thought for sure, come house number two I must  have a beautiful updated kitchen. Now I really just want clean and functional, not necessarily the perfect higher end cabinetry I once swooned over.

Before we had a kid, I thought for sure our next home was going to be a custom-built home on land that we would buy. Building a home was, I thought, the only way we would get everything we wanted and needed in a home. Since having a kid, my understanding of needs has changed drastically. A good school zone (assuming she goes to public school), safe neighborhood, good layout. Everything else can be changed if needed. Our family needs functionality, not fancy.

Has having children changed your mind about home requirements?

5 thoughts on “How Having a Kid Changed My View Of ”Dream” Home

  1. Having kids definitely changed our view of a “dream home.” We had our son when we were in our first home, and when we built our current home we knew that we needed to have a place where we could be together as a family, but we also needed a place where our son could have his stuff and play with himself and his friends separate from us. It gave him the privacy to play and imagine, and it gave us the ability to not hear the loud crashes and bangs that come along with kids playing….sanity for all!

  2. “Since having a kid, my understanding of needs has changed drastically.” Haha…nothing could be further from the truth. Kids truly have a way of resetting our priorities. We quickly realized that life wasn’t going to be all about us anymore.

  3. It’s interesting how priorities change, isn’t it? I think we sometimes set ourselves for failure when house hunting because we watch too much HGTV and think that granite counter-tops are more important than functionality and layout, like you said. Although there are no kids in my life right now, I can already see my future housing “wants” being overshadowed by the “needs”.

  4. Kathy says:

    A few years ago we downsized from 5 acres in the country to a duplex in town. We were happy giving up the land as we were getting too old to tend to it. However, we found downsizing the house was kind of a mistake. While we “get by” with the smaller space it isn’t ideal. So we are thinking of building again. Since I scoff at the people in the house hunter shows going on and on about walk in closets, I’m embarrassed to admit that I now am insisting on a large walk in closet. Currently, our are just too small and the clothes are all scrunched in them. I will also be doing a fairly large master bath, mainly because if we need to sell in the future, most people will probably be looking for that. I also want a fairly large covered back deck/porch and a large kitchen. Beyond that, most of the must haves are structural and based on energy efficiency rather than cosmetic appearances.

  5. Having a kid really changed my view of ”dream” home and life priorities. My friends called sometimes called me that I’m a boring person because I always stay here in our house especially I’m working from home. Right now, I’m still living in my parent’s house, but we are already planning for our future house, with 3 bedrooms and especially near at the schools.

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