Friday, October 21, 2011

The rules of house hunting with a blended family

The first step in finding the ideal home for your blended family is discovering what your budget is. Discuss what you feel you can afford with your spouse, and make sure the purchase you make for your step family doesn’t exceed that figure. Your mortgage payment shouldn’t exceed a quarter of your combined salaries, or a third at the very most. At least one of your previous homes should be sold before finalizing a purchase. 

Location of your blended family home
Ask yourself a few questions to determine where you should look for your blended family home. Are you hoping to stay within or enter a particular school district? Will your new home be close to that of an ex-spouse? That isn’t always a bad thing, as it makes picking up and dropping off the kids much more convenient.

Let the kids in the blended family have a say
Ask the kids and step kids in your stepfamily what they would like to see in a new home. You will probably get a few helpful answers. The ideal time to let the kids have some say is at the beginning, and they will enjoy coming along for a few of the open house visits. You will definitely want them to take a tour of the house you choose before you complete a deal.

If the kids and step kids in your blended family are both girls and boys, consider your bathroom requirements accordingly. Having enough bathrooms is as important as having enough bedrooms. Your spouse and you should have a master bathroom just for the two of you.

Not every child has to have a bedroom of its own. Visiting step kids can share a room, assuming they are the same gender. If you decide to use a basement room or pullout sofa for a visiting child, just be sure they have adequate privacy for their belongings.

Living areas
It is a good idea to have many areas throughout the house for the kids in your blended family to entertain themselves, especially if they are of varied ages. Consider homes which have a finished basement or multiple floors. This will allow the kids to spread out and find areas to call their own. A master bedroom should be separated from all the other bedrooms, if possible. Your spouse and you deserve some space in your stepfamily as well.

Remember, your spouse and you are the core of the home and the epicenter of the blended family. Involving everyone in the process is a wonderful idea, but it is important for everyone to know that the final decision on which home to purchase lies with you. Take your time and select the perfect home for your new step family.

The Blended and Step Family Resource Center aims to help blended and stepfamilies become strong and successful through its counseling and coaching services as well as other resources available. To get the help that you need, get in touch with our licensed professional counselors and we will help you find solutions and hope.

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