With a greater number of educational options opening up to families in the U.S., many households are choosing to homeschool their kids. In fact, there were 1.69 million students between the ages of five and 17 being homeschooled in 2016 alone.
But before you can homeschool your kids, you need to create a learning environment in your home that works for everyone. And that can be difficult to do if you don’t have a lot of space. Luckily, the real estate market is swinging back into the buyer’s favor, so you can find a new house that can grow with your family.
Here are a few key elements to look for when you’re looking for a new house to where you can live, grow, and homeschool your kids.
Extra square footage
Many young families are choosing smaller homes because they often have smaller family sizes and fewer belongings to keep inside. If you prefer a smaller house, you can still make homeschooling work. But you do want to be sure to have some additional square footage to work with.
For instance, if you two kids, it may be worth looking for a three-bedroom house that has an extra room that could serve as an in-home classroom. You can always get creative so the room can turn into a playroom after class time is over.
It also helps to have a specified room for your in-home classroom so you don’t have to convert your garage or home office into your classroom space. You don’t want to have to keep your motorcycle or boat (87 million Americans taking part in recreational boating) outside in the driveway year-round.
Just remember to have your home inspected regardless of its size, neighborhood, and the year it was built. Approximately 70% of surveyed homeowners say their home inspections have helped them to avoid potential problems with the house.
A yard with a view
It’s always great to have a lawn when you have kids, but it’s especially great when your kids are homeschooled because it gives them their own recess area. What’s more, during the summer, they can even play in the sprinkler for an hour while you water your lawn.
A bonus benefit to having a yard is to have a good view of your outdoor space. When you’re looking for houses, pay attention to the windows or glass doors. Do they let you look out on the yard to keep an eye on your kids?
Having a yard with a view lets you watch the kids while also giving you the chance to get some work done.
An updated HVAC system
Two-thirds of all U.S. homes have air conditioners, and when a home has central air conditioning and heating, you want to be sure it’s up to date and energy efficient not just for the sake of your bills but also because your kids will be spending a lot of their time indoors when they’re homeschooled.
Indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air quality because there isn’t a lot of space for the air to move around. An HVAC system that’s outdated or has clogged filters can make your home’s indoor air quality worse. Change your filters once or twice a month and, if possible, consider negotiating the HVAC system when you buy your house if it’s outdated.
Your floors can also trap allergens. Dirt and allergens can build up in a carpet over time, which is why it’s important to have your carpets professionally cleaned at least once a year. If you have hardwood floors, vacuum or sweep your floors once a day.
When you’re homeschooling your kids, it’s not only important for them to have a designated area to learn but also a happy and healthy environment to learn in. By following the tips above, you’ll have a good idea of what to look for when buying your next house.