Making family work as a blended family can be challenging. Not only are you starting a new household, but many times you are moving into a new home.
In this guide, we will help you navigate the challenges of buying a home that will meet the needs of the entire family.
Blending two families into one might seem impossible at first. Developing new routines, accommodating everyone’s needs, and overcoming the anxiety and stress that everyone might be feeling can be a challenging process. Not only is growing your family overwhelming, but purchasing a new home to fit everyone can also add more stress to your plate.
Not sure where to begin in the home buying process? Logistics to take into consideration are developing a budget, involving the kids, finding the right location, creating a home wish list, and planning the timing carefully.
Continue reading below for helpful tips on how to buy a new home for your blended family and overcome the challenges you might face.
Tip #1: Acknowledge the Challenges
When blending two families into one household, it’s no secret that there may be a few bumps in the road. It’s important to start by acknowledging that this may be a challenging process. The goal is for everyone to get along, right? You now have to deal with co-parenting, a stepparent for your children, and step-siblings.
Adding new members to any family can cause problems at times. It’s going to take time to figure out how your new family is going to deal with issues such as arguments, jealousy, discipline, childcare, budgeting, and other family issues that may be presented once everyone is moved in together under one roof.
Using effective communication tools in your marriage is key to helping you connect with each other and juggle obstacles that may become issues down the road.
To help deal with these obstacles you might face, start by coming up with a family plan. First, decide on the roles you both will take when it comes to parenting one another’s children. Setting boundaries is important, especially at the beginning of your marriage and blending your two families together.
Next, discuss an agreement on how you will handle any disagreements when it comes to parenting and raising your children so that if an instance were to happen, you both can handle the issue appropriately.
Another important thing to establish is alone time. We all know how hectic life can be with work, extracurricular activities, sporting events, and other life events that may take place. Find time weekly or monthly to plan a date night or alone time for just the two of you.
You should also consider planning a family night to help grow the relationship between the blended families, such as Friday night pizza, game night, movie night, or a day trip. Finding activities that everyone can enjoy will make the bonding process much easier.
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Tip #2: Develop a Realistic Budget
Purchasing a new home is a big expense to take into consideration. You and your partner must discuss a realistic budget that allows you to comfortably buy a home without hurting your finances. Start by creating a list of weekly and monthly expenses.
Once you have an idea of what you’re spending, try to eliminate any unnecessary expenses such as eating out, extra streaming services, and any unused subscriptions. This will allow you to save money and allocate it to new home expenses, such as furniture, decorations, or other items you or the children might need.
Budgeting will also help you find a healthy way to handle the finances as a team. A bigger family means more groceries, clothes, and toiletries needed. By developing a healthy spending plan, you might find it less stressful when it comes time to pay for a new home and all the factors that come with it.
When searching for a new home, think about how much you can afford to pay for a house. To find out how much you can afford, enter your location, yearly income, monthly debts, and how much money you have for the down payment and closing costs into a mortgage calculator.
The calculator will take this information and tell you how big of a loan you can take. Hunting for homes in your price range is crucial, especially with the buyer’s demand in our current housing market.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of starting a new chapter in a new home, but sticking to a budget will allow you to stay on track and find the perfect home for the right price.
Tip #3: Create a Wish List
Once you have a realistic price range in mind, use a home buyingwish list sheet and have everyone fill out their wants and needs for the new house. Location, size, and characteristics are all big decisions to think about when house hunting.
If the biological parents are involved in your children’s lives, finding a place nearby is important for the kids. If possible, try to search for a house in the same school district, or nearby, so there are not too many changes all at once. With a larger family, searching for a home with more bedrooms, bathrooms, and a yard is ideal, so everyone can have their own space to get away if needed.
Although location and size are crucial when house hunting, you should also think of styles and characteristics in the home. A few styles of homes are Victorian, ranch, contemporary, or Cape Cod. Characteristics to consider are the kitchen layout, age, attached garage, air conditioning, and the condition of the place.
Depending on your budget, you might want to look at homes that require fewer updates that way you have more money to spend on a larger home to fit your new blended family.
You may also want to read about how to merge finances as a blended family in order to make sure money matters don’t drive you apart.
Tip #4: Plan the Timing Carefully
Timing is everything. Depending on the current living situation, whether you’ve sold one home and you’re all living under one roof, or you’re in the process of combining households, it’s important to have a strict timeline. This may feel overwhelming at first, especially with finances added to the mix.
Coordinating buying and selling a home at the same time may be difficult, but you don’t want to be financially hurting yourself owning two plus homes at the same time. Before making any big purchase decisions, make sure one of the homes is sold first.
If half of the family has to move in before the other, that’s perfectly fine. They can get the house set up and ready once the timing works for the other family to move in officially. Being patient and understanding of the current circumstances will help make the moving process less stressful for the kids.
Tip #5: Involve the Children
You must include the kids in the decision-making process. With all the big changes happening, the kids may feel like their opinions don’t matter. Moving into a new home can be a big change for the kids.
To help avoid stress, start by asking each child their preferences for the new home. Letting them know that their opinions matter will help make the process less stressful for them. Although it’s difficult working around everyone’s busy schedules, including the children when touring potential homes will also allow them to get a feel for the house before any big decisions are made.
To help get them more excited when your family is touring the houses, encourage them to imagine their own space, theme, and decorations they wish for in their maybe-future rooms. By including everyone in the process, it’ll feel more special and exciting once you’ve found the perfect house.
You and your partner might also want to consider dedicating time to each child to make sure their feelings are taken into account and let them know that they’re important. This will make sure jealousy and insecurity doesn’t become a part of your family norm.
It may take time to build a trusting relationship with your stepchildren, but building a solid bond will only make your blended family stronger in the future.
The children might also need time and patience to start to get along and accept the new family dynamics. Creating a supportive environment along with instilling good energy will help successfully minimize issues that might occur.
Don’t worry if everything feels overwhelming at first. Following the helpful tips above will guide you in the process of combining your families under one new roof.
Staying calm and understanding for the kids will only help make the process less stressful and eventually things will start to feel like they’re coming together. Sticking to routines and traditions will help meet their emotional needs and help them move past the challenges of starting a new family.
Resources for this article
Here is a list of financial resources and tools you can use to get back on track, and stay on track with your money.
Credit Repair Magic will fix your credit fast using simple, practical methods that have worked for thousands. Plus get extra bonuses when you sign up.
Credit Repair Letters are written by attorneys to help you know what and how to communicate with Credit Card companies.
The Debt Relief Manual offers practical advice on everything you need to know on HOW to eliminate credit card debt without getting trapped.
Dissolve Debt will help you reduce and eliminate tax or government debt.
Changing Your Money Mindset
For those who want to change their money mindset and learn how to manage and use money effectively, we recommend Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Summit. It is costly, but once you are able to invest in your future self, this program is worth the money.
You can also take our Marriage Quiz to get your marriage score and find practical ways to increase communication, intimacy and trust in your relationship.