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Four Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Current Home

It’s not uncommon for couples with growing families to trade in their compact cars for something roomier, like a mini-van. The same thing happens with homes. Sometimes families simply outgrow them.

How can you tell if that’s happening with your property? Here are some sure-fire signs:

1. You need more space.

This is the most common reason people upgrade to a new home. They need more room. For any number of reasons, you might want an extra bedroom, a larger living room, a bigger backyard, or a more spacious kitchen. Rather than put up with feeling cramped, consider exploring the extra space a new home can provide.

2. A renovation won’t fix it.

Sometimes, when a property doesn’t fit its owners’ needs anymore, they consider a renovation. For example, if they need more space for a home office, they convert a spare room. However, a renovation doesn’t always fix the problem. For example, building a double, rather than single driveway and garage, may not be possible given the constraints of your property. Only a new home can solve that problem.

3. You’re interested in a new neighbourhood.

The neighbourhood may have been perfect for you at one time. But needs evolve. You may now be looking for something the area doesn’t provide – like closer access to a recreational activity your family enjoys, or a more convenient commute to work. If that’s the case, it might be time to look at other neighbourhoods you’d like to consider, and see what types of homes are currently available there.

It’s time for a change.

Sometimes you simply feel it’s time for a change. There’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t feel you need a practical reason to sell and find a new home. If this feels like the right time for you and your family to move, go for it.

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Finding Childcare in Your Neighbourhood

Finding a childcare for your kids is hard – but finding a spot in the Waterloo Region can feel downright impossible. This can make moving from your current home (and daycare provider) seem like a hopeless endeavour. But with some careful planning and determined spirit, you can and will find a childcare you love – sometimes even more than the one you are leaving.

GET ON THE ONELIST WHILE YOU DECIDE

OneList is the place where all applications for licensed care in Waterloo Region are submitted. You can also apply for financial help to pay for child care, and special needs supports (if you have concerns about your child’s development).

The website includes child care centres (also called day care, preschool and nursery school), home child care, and registered before and after school programs. It does not include private care or unregulated care.

How to Apply

You can apply for child care in a few easy steps at regionofwaterloo.onehsn.com

  1.    Create your account, entering your needs and preferences.
  2. OneList searches for child care options based on your criteria.
  3. You can apply for up to 10 centre-based programs and two home child care programs.

The program(s) you apply to will contact you when they receive your application and will give you an estimate for when a space will open up, if possible. They will also contact you when a space becomes available.

You can go into your account at any time to make changes to your contact information or applications.

ASK AROUND FOR IN-HOME PROVIDERS

There are significant benefits like proximity to home or school, a real family feeling, the ability to have more say in food, schedule etc. and good potential for babysitting hours. The things you will want to know will have to do with food, routine, the home situation and if it is run in a separate space or shared with the family space, CPR and training, home licencing etc. You will at least want to know these details so you can make an informed decision.

HIRE A NANNY

The nanny is a flexible but potentially costly choice. There are a few ways to go about bringing in nanny help. You can sponsor a nanny to come from abroad, take over the sponsorship of someone who is working towards their papers or hire someone who is Canadian born, or already living in Canada. You can also choose to have a live – in nanny or a live – out nanny. It used to be much less expensive to have a live – in caregiver, but the regulations have changed. These bring the cost of a live – in nanny closer to that of someone who lives outside of your home. There is also the question of whether you will go through an agency or hire on your own. There are benefits to both options.

If you are considering a live – in nanny, this will be an essential factor in deciding which house you buy. Should you get a separate apartment? Separate living area? Or will just an extra bedroom suffice?

SHARE A NANNY

Many families these days share a nanny. These arrangements come in many forms, but at the end of the day it merely means that more than one family assumes the cost of hiring a nanny and shares the nanny’s time. There are rules around how many kids of different ages a nanny can care for at the same time. Be sure to double check the rules, to ensure you are not putting your employee or your kids in dangerous situation.

CHECKING FOR A NEIGHBOURHOOD CHILD – MINDING SHARE

Some industrious moms participate in a neighbourhood share. This is particularly useful when your children are a bit older. In these instances, a parent from one family watches all the kids from the “share” one day – walking everyone to and from school and then minding all the kids until the parents return at the set time.

LOOK TO FAMILY

A lot of parents with young children make a home move to be closer to their family. It’s worth exploring whether this means you can also rely on family for childminding. For grandparents, this can be a win – win, as often their adult children will “pay them “for their time – great when you are in retirement and on a fixed income.

Researching your daycare options in an integral part of the home-buying process. Better to know your options before you fall in love with the home of your dreams.