When shopping for a home, it's important to consider not only your current needs, but also the additional needs that may arise in the next 3 to 5 years. If you do not currently have children, but plan on having them soon, then you need to keep this in mind as you shop for a home. In addition to looking for a place with an extra bedroom or two, you should also keep your eyes peeled for these kid-friendly features.
A fenced-in yard
Allowing your kids to play outside will help them expand their imaginations and learn about nature. However, you want to make sure they are safe and secure when they're in the back yard. A fence can really help. While you still won't want to leave your children unattended in the yard for very long when they are young, you can take your eyes off of them for a bit longer when your yard is fenced in. The fence also provides some privacy so you don't have to worry about neighbors judging you for your parenting methods.
A utility sink
Kids are great at getting dirty and messy. They might come in covered in mud and other debris that you really don't want in the bath tub. And then there are the boots and jackets that come in equally as dirty! When you have a utility sink, you can use it to clean these messy items without dirtying up your bathroom.
These days, some homeowners are opting to install standing shower stalls instead of bathtubs. But while this may be a good idea for adults, showers don't work well for kids. You want to make sure the home you buy has a bathtub in at least one bathroom, or else you'll have to pay to have one installed when you later have children.
Open staircases may be pretty, but they are dangerous for small children since there's no way to close them off and restrict access. An enclosed stairway is a much safer choice. Even if there are not distinct doors on either end of the stairs, you can easily place a baby gate across the top of the stairs to keep your toddler from taking a tumble.
If you find a home with all of the above features, then you can be confident that it will meet your needs in a few years when you have kids. Talk to your real estate agent to learn more about the available homes for sale in your area.