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How-to guide: Moving to a larger home for a growing family

Date posted:  11/16/16 03:30:00 PM Baby on the way? Decide if it's time to move to a larger space and when to do it.

Your lifestyle changes drastically when you have a child. Late nights with old friends and sleeping in until 11:00 in the morning become things of the past, and your budget and living space also grow a bit more cramped with the new addition. It may be time to upgrade to a larger space, and these simple tips can help you get the process started:

Why are you moving?
Moving is expensive, and upgrading to a larger home for your growing family will also cost more. So, before you decide you need to make the change right now, ensure you can afford it. Keep in mind that you'll have additional expenses you'll need to incorporate into your budget when you have a baby, so you don't want to put too much stress on your finances with a new house and new baby.

Ask yourself whether you truly need the extra space and if you need it right now. Perhaps you can put off moving until you become more familiar with how having a baby will impact your finances and what your new needs are. You may find that you need more or less space than you initially anticipated.

However, if you are in a situation where moving to a larger home is absolutely necessary, and you know you can afford it, you'll need to decide the most appropriate time to buy.

Before baby, or after?
Moving.com noted that there are pros and cons to moving before or after baby. For example, if you decide to do your house hunt while pregnant, you will be better positioned to attend open houses as you don't need to worry about lugging baby gear or changing diapers. In addition, if you move before baby, you may have time to prepare your new home with a nursery and much-needed items.

While moving before offers many benefits, it can also be stressful and potentially unhealthy. Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, you may not be able to lift anything during the actual move. In addition, moving after having the baby may help you make friends with your neighbors quickly. Little ones can be a natural conversation starter which can enhance any social interactions you have when moving to a new home.

Tips for moving before
Ready to find the perfect place before having a baby? Try completing your to-do list further in advance than you otherwise would. Book movers as soon as possible and change your address, so you are prepared in case your little one decides to come a little early.

In addition, you'll want to pack your overnight bag with extra care. Not only do you need items for your first night in a new home, but you'll also want to have everything ready for a trip to the hospital as well.

House hunting with a baby
If you've decided to wait until after the big delivery, Mom.me suggested finding a real estate professional who is family-friendly. If your agent is used to being around children, he or she will likely not mind being around a baby. In addition, your agent may be able to provide a few more baby tips while searching for a home!

Hiring a babysitter or asking a family member to come along and care for the baby while you are looking at different properties is another good idea. This will free you up to check out the homes without as many distractions, so you can make the best decision for your new family.

Having a baby is an exciting time. If you need to move, make sure you know what will work for your growing family, and it will go far more smoothly.