When you’re a mom with kids, and you are looking for a new apartment to call home, it can present a whole host of challenges. Whether you’re looking for a big city apartment, or you live in a suburban area, apartments aren’t always necessarily kid-friendly, and it can take some time to find an option that will work for everyone in your family.
In some ways, while there are challenges, there can also be advantages. You may have onsite amenities that your kids will enjoy, and you won’t have to pay extra for them, plus many apartment communities are working to make life as convenient as possible for residents. For example, they may have an app for amenities so you can request on-demand trash pick-up and enjoy other conveniences.
The following are some things to keep in mind as you search for a child-friendly apartment.
Know Discrimination Laws
Some landlords may act as if they’re reluctant to rent an apartment to you if you have children. That’s against the law, and there is a ban against discrimination based on familial status. This refers to children under the age of 18. However, while a landlord can’t discriminate against you for having kids, what they can do are create and enforce rules that will help ensure your children are safe and protected on the property, as long as they’re within reason.
If your landlord tries to make a rule about your children sharing a bedroom as an example, this wouldn’t be considered reasonable. If there are rules about playground or pool safety, however, this is likely reasonable and within their rights.
As far as looking for family-friendly apartments, you will need to think about safety. You will want to look for a property that’s well-lit at night, and if there are things like balconies and patios, are they safe and secure? Is there a fence around the pool area? What about the windows and doors the apartment is equipped with?
From both a safety and convenience standpoint, it can often be best for moms with kids to choose a first-floor apartment whenever possible. First, it’s much easier than trying to get kids and groceries up the stairs. Plus, being on a higher level with a balcony or even windows can be a risk that you don’t want to take.
If your kids are in strollers, you’re going to have to not only think about stairs but also things like how wide the doorways and hallways are.
Do Other Families Live in the Building or Apartment Community?
Before choosing a new home, take some time to walk around the building or the community and get a feel for the environment. If you’re a mom with kids and you’re considering an apartment community, and you go there on a Saturday and see the pool is filled with raucous partiers, you’re probably going to choose another option.
If you walk around and see other families with kids, it’s probably a good indicator that it could be a positive fit for you as well.
Some buildings or communities can seem great at first, but when you look deeper, you see it’s just not the right atmosphere for kids.
Consider the Kitchen
Sometimes in apartments, the biggest problem can be that the kitchen is small, cramped, unusual, or closed off. You may be able to sacrifice in other areas, such as smaller bedrooms, in exchange for a great kitchen. An eat-in kitchen can be a good option because it gives you space for your kids to play and do homework and crafts while you’re cooking.
A lot of families with kids like a kitchen with a center island, because this can completely replace the need for a kitchen table. You should also look for a kitchen that has a lot of storage space, and even better if there’s a pantry.
If you’re a mom with kids, another area to really pay attention to as you rent an apartment is the bathroom. You’ll probably need a bathtub, especially if your kids are younger. Tubs with sliding doors can be annoying when you have kids, so try and avoid that too.
As far as the bedrooms, sometimes you might get hung up on making sure you have a separate room for each of your kids, but this isn’t necessarily what’s most important. You can make shared bedrooms work much more easily than you can make it work with bad kitchens or bathrooms in an apartment.
Photo | Bigstock
Contributed posts are advertisements written by third parties who have paid Woman Around Town for publication.