When hunting for a nice property as parents there are things you’ll be keen on looking for in your new home. So are obvious, such as schools, gardens and the area. But here are some of our top 5 alternative things to especially look for in family homes.

TIP #1: If no gardens, look for parks

Ideally, for a family home, you’ll be looking for a place with a good size garden so that your children have the option of playing outside of the house. But as there is a demand/increase in flats/apartments, families are just about missing out on gardens. So if you are one of those families, we recommend that you look into a property that is easily accessible to the local park, so that your children still are able to play outdoors.

TIP #2: Family friendly facilities and recreation centres

The rising use of technology means that this generation of children already have their recreation sorted on mobile devices. However, if you’re looking to discourage the over the use of technology as recreation for your children, then look for the possibilities of having recreation centres, family friendly cafes and facilities that are local to your forth-coming family home.

TIP #3: Well insulated homes

In order to decrease the number of runny noses and ticklish coughs, we recommend that families look for properties that are well insulated or have a good central heating system in the home, as this will help keep the warmth in during those colder miserable days that we tend to have in the UK.

TIP #4: A good kitchen

When we were looking for our family home, one thing my parents especially my mum looked for was a good kitchen and that always stuck with me. A sizeable kitchen with a well-tiled wall was on the top of her list, as families tend to do more cooking throughout the weeks that the walls become accustomed to the steam, heat and smells. So we recommend looking for a kitchen with well-insulated walls, a breathable space and also a good/replaceable air vent.

TIP 5: Good structure/sizing

Regardless of the type of property, we suggest a good sized space that will allow for children to freely express themselves throughout the home. This will decrease the number of inconveniences and also avoid that claustrophobic feeling of having furniture/storage space crowding up the place.


Also if you have any tips that you could recommend to us, share them in the comments and we’ll be highlighting them in our upcoming articles in the ‘Family’ series.


What is stamp duty?

To put it in a short way, stamp duty is a tax on land and property transactions. For the most part, you will have to pay stamp duty when you buy a house or apartment. Stamp duty is officially known as stamp duty land tax (SDLT) but being how we are, it’s more commonly known as simply, stamp duty.

The amount stamp duty you will have to pay depends on the value of the property you have bought.

When do I have to pay stamp duty?

You will more often than not have to pay the stamp duty within 30 days of the ‘effective date’ for a property valued at over £125,000. The ‘effective date’ is typically the day the purchase of the property has been concluded.

The stamp duty must however be paid sooner under other circumstances. For instance, if you move in to the property earlier than the day of completion or you pay for the property prior to the day of completion, the 30 day payment terms starts from these earlier dates instead so bear this in mind when choosing your options.

For the majority of people, you will have instructed a conveyancing solicitor to deal with matters; this solicitor will also pay the stamp duty on your behalf. Even though your solicitor will do this, you still must check with the HMRC that you have paid the right amount.

Do I always have to pay stamp duty?

It would be a very rare occasion if you did not have to pay stamp duty on a property valued at over £125,000.

To put this into perspective, if for example, you done a house swap with a family member or friend with no cash involved just a straight swap; you would both have to pay the stamp duty at the value of the house you are moving into. The same thing applies whether you buy a house outright or through a mortgage, you will still have to pay stamp duty on the value of the property.

If however you are getting divorced or separating, this might be an occasion where stamp duty is not applicable. This only way this applies is if one partner is transferring their share of the house or apartment to the other. If you sell the property to a third party, the buyer will have to pay stamp duty in the customary way.

Need mortgage advice?

It is vital to obtain mortgage advice before jumping into the potentially biggest purchase you will ever make. There are various ways to obtain advice, but you can find mortgage advice from an independent mortgage adviser.

With all this in mind, if you are thinking of moving, or buying your first/next property, why not start the search here