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Old 03-19-2013, 06:59 PM   #1
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Advice on a house for a family of 6

This summer we will welcome child number 4 into the family. Right now we have 11yo DS1, 6yo DD1, and 4.5yo DS2. There will be 6 years between the two girls, 6 years between the two boys, 5 years between the boys and their little sisters, and 11 years between youngest and oldest. (hope that made sense) Basically, I have a set of boys 6 years apart and a set of girls 6 years apart. The middle boy/girl "set" is 15 months apart. Right now I think of them as the big brother, the middle kids, and the baby sister.

As soon as DH found out we were expecting, he got bitten by the provider bug big time. He wants a 5 bedroom house so everyone can have their own room. I'm happy to make do with the 2200 sq foot 3 bedroom we have, but DH's sense of provision is on the line here.

We're looking at purchasing another house or building one.

Tell me what to look for in a home for a family of this size. What sizes are your common areas? How many bathrooms do we really need? Is there something you just absolutely couldn't (or wouldn't want to) live without?

Really interested in hearing from families with teens/tweens as I recognize they won't stay little and need a playroom full of toys forever!

TIA

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Old 03-20-2013, 10:06 AM   #2
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Re: Advice on a house for a family of 6

For what it's worth, I had my own room (only girl for 12 years) until I was 17. Then my mom made me share with my toddler sister. I have always felt a little bitter over that. I was going to be leaving home in 6 months and she couldn't just wait? (Yes, I know how spoiled I sound )
On the other hand, my boys share a room even though we have room to give them there own rooms because we think (hope) that it will encourage problem solving skills and brotherly love. When my baby is a little older, I will be putting him in with his older sister.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:14 AM   #3
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We're a family of six, bbbg ages 10, 7, 5, and 19 months. We are currently in a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom and I would do nearly anything for a five bedroom and one more bathroom. I'd also like a basement or second living room for tv/games/hangout place as they grow.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:11 AM   #4
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Since my grandmother moved in with us several months back, we are technically a family of six. Lol. It's me and dh, my grandmother, 13yo ds, 5yo ds, and 10 month old dd. We live in a 2100 sq ft, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath house. It is cramped, not because of the people, but because of all the "stuff"! We moved from a 3600 sq ft home (plus full unfinished basement/garage) that we were renting from my in-laws, so it was a drastic reduction in space for us. Then my grandmother landed in the emergency room last October and came to live with us. She gave her house to my sister, so we crammed all my grandmother's stuff in here too. So, if we just went through all the excess stuff, the 2100 sq ft would be plenty big. The boys share a room, my grandmother has get own room, and we cosleep with the baby. If I were in your shoes, I'd have the boys share a room, cosleep with the baby for a year or more, then let the girls share a room later. But it really depends on your family and what works for them. Oh, and we bought full on full bunk beds for the boys, since they were used to having full beds before room-sharing. It was about $1200. I just can't see tying up thousands of extra dollars in a bigger house if you don't need it. That's just my opinion though.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:17 AM   #5
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Btw, i didn't really feel like I had that much more space in the 3600sq ft, 4 bedroom home we moved out of. Layout has a lot to do with how spacious a home feels. The best thing for you might be to figure out your budget, and just start looking at homes. Even if you build, seeing lots of homes will give you ideas of what you might like or dislike.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:29 AM   #6
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Re: Advice on a house for a family of 6

I am the oldest of 4. I think the largest home we had growing up was probably 1800 sq ft? Maybe 2000. For as long as I can remember we had 4 bedrooms, until we moved here to Indy and here we only had 3. We had 3 girls and a boy. When I was little and my brother and sister were preschool and toddler age, my sister and I shared a room, then my baby sister had her own room and my brother had his own room. Then, at one point we rearranged it and I had my own room and my sister had her own room and my brother and baby sister shared. That lasted about 2 yrs. Then we moved here and the one room upstairs was big enough to sleep 4 people comfortably. So, the three girls (ages 11, 9 and 4 when we moved here) all slept in that room, and my brother got the only bedroom downstairs all to himself.

Now I have 4 kids and we have a 3 bedroom house. My oldest is 17, she has her own room, my 2 yr old is going to be moving into the same room with the 4 yr old any day now, and the baby boy is still in our bedroom. My plan for when we move (which will be in about 2 yrs) is totally up in the air. My oldest will be away at college, living on campus, and we have told her we have no plans for "rebounding," but at the same time she will come home on breaks and stuff. I would LIKE to have a room for the oldest, a room for the two younger girls to share, and a room for the baby. If we stay here, we will probably convert the loft to the baby's room by adding a wall.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:48 AM   #7
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Re: Advice on a house for a family of 6

We're a family of 7 in a 3br house, my kids are 12g, 11g, 9b, 6g and 2b. All four older kids still share a room because they are weird. lol We have an extra bedroom but no one wants to be in there alone. The oldest and youngest girls share a double bed and the middle girl and boy have a bunk bed. The 2 yr old is still in our room. Soon we are turning the extra bedroom into the boys room, we will have a bunk in there and the girls can stay in their room together with the double bed and a single. We don't allow toys upstairs and most of them get dressed in the bathroom so sharing a room hasn't been a problem, I just think the girls need their own space now that they are getting older.

We have 2 bathrooms and the one upstairs is mostly used for brushing teeth before bed and the occasional bath. We have a living room, dining room and den and all the kids stuff is in the den. I think we have around 2,000 sq ft and it is more than enough room but we don't have a lot of stuff. Our house is very old, over 100 years, and the only thing I miss is more closet space...which is what we use the extra bedroom for right now.
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:25 PM   #8
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Re: Advice on a house for a family of 6

We are a Fam of 6. The oldest is 20 and the youngest two are 3. In my experience children continue to need more & more room as they grow. We could never have a house that is large enough. Having a place for toys turns into needing space to have a few friends hang out after school. I believe each child needs to be able to have a couple friends over without infringing on a sibling's space with their own friends. At least two family rooms, a game room, and an office/study space are my requirements. And at least 1 bathroom per every two family members is ideal.

Well built higher quality homes become more important as family size increases. Every door is going to be opened & closed more because there are more people. There will almost always be at least 1 kid running up the stairs so if there is cheaper flooring that isn't insulated for sound there will constantly be stomping echoed through the house. Having to hear a toilet flush every 15 minutes gets really annoying too. Homes with multiple staircases leading up (or down) do help distribute some of the noise. Built in intercoms are super useful for calling everyone to dinner & keeping track of whose where when kids are still too young to text. Lights that automatically turn on when a door opens & then only stay on for 10-20 min in bathrooms/closets/utility rooms/ and the pantry really help cut down on the electric costs a large family can rack up (of course you can still flick a switch to keep a light on for longer). I also like having automatic faucets in bathroom sinks so each kid can't let the water run for 5 min straight while brushing their teeth & little ones can't overflow a sink as easily when they're playing around. Closet organizers & shelving can completely make up for dressers that take up valuable floor space. Large, well organized entries are a must. Extended sized garages provide additional room for more individuals to enter & exit vehicles parked there & pass around eachother with grocerie bags & back packs. It is great to have a cleaning/supply/linen closet on each floor of a larger home. Laundry chutes can be nice. I adore homes that have a snack/coffee/breakfast bar either upstairs or downstairs and separate from the main kitchen with its own dishwasher.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:24 PM   #9
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Re: Advice on a house for a family of 6

We are family of six and are crammed in our apt right now,we are house hunting and looking for a 4 bedroom 2 bath and at least 2,000 sq ft.
So far haven't found exactly what we want, I think if the rooms are big, you can get away with a 3 bedroom and have the kids share rooms.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:45 PM   #10
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Re: Advice on a house for a family of 6

I think a lot of it depends on your family too. When I was a kid in a family of 6 we moved a lot because my dad was in the Army. We lived in a variety of houses from tiny 900sqft rentals in town to 5br 3bath houses on 5 acres and we were happy wherever we were.
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