Fo­cus on kid-friendly prop­er­ties

Home - Santa Fe Real Estate Guide - - ARTFULLIVINGBYDESIGN PROPERTYMANAGEMENT - JASON COUILLIARD

With sum­mer weather comes longer days and the num­ber of chil­dren play­ing out­side in­creases con­sid­er­ably. With two young boys my­self, I speak from­ex­pe­ri­ence that with more chil­dren comes more noise and, some­times, more ac­ci­dents.

Fam­i­lies with chil­dren to­day are more of­ten choos­ing to rent than buy for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons, a trend we’ve seen in the sin­gle-fam­ily home rental in­dus­try. We have also seen more fam­i­lies with chil­dren stay­ing in va­ca­tion rentals than in the re­cent past.

Safety is num­ber one when it comes to chil­dren. If you haven’t in­spected your home and grounds for some time, here are a few tips to make sure your in­vest­ment home is bet­ter-equipped to han­dle chil­dren:

- Tie all elec­tronic and ap­pli­ance ca­bles to­gether and if pos­si­ble com­pletely hide se­curely be­hind fur­ni­ture and fix­tures.

- Use child-proof locks on kitchen draw­ers. They are in­ex­pen­sive and easy to in­stall. At min­i­mum, con­sider in­stalling a child lock on the steak-knife drawer.

- Out­let plugs are also very in­ex­pen­sive and a great value add for new or first con­cerned par­ents who are trav­el­ing or look­ing for a new home for their fam­ily.

- Walk the ex­te­rior of your prop­erty. Look for any­thing that would hurt if you stepped or fell on it. This in­cludes loose trees and shrubs, and the wild-grow­ing cac­tus in the back yard. Also rid the garage of any­thing rusty or dan­ger­ous that can­not be se­cured on a shelf six feet or higher.

- En­sure your drive­way and all park­ing lots or en­trances to your home have no blind spots for ve­hi­cles. In­stall round safety mir­rors in strate­gic lo­ca­tions if you spot any.

- Pools. If you have one, se­cure it. Kids ex­plore on hot sum­mer days and a pool can look like a fun time. It is es­sen­tial that ac­cess by small chil­dren be re­stricted with fenc­ing at proper heights and locks at all en­trances.

- If you do not have a play area on­site, think about cre­at­ing a small one. Giv­ing chil­dren a des­ig­nated place to play al­lows them to ex­plore and play safely un­der su­per­vi­sion, while cut­ting down on noise through­out the neigh­bor­hood and pos­si­ble ac­ci­dents some­where else. A large trac­tor tire filled with sand and a few sand­box toys re­quires min­i­mal space and can pro­vide hours of fun.

Mar­ket­ing your kid-friend­li­ness to prospec­tive ten­ants and online-search­ing va­ca­tion rental guests is a real ben­e­fit if you do it right. No home is 100 per­cent ac­ci­dent-free; how­ever, putting in a lit­tle time and in­vest­ment on the front end will pre­pare your home for a wider and smaller au­di­ence of renters.

Jason Couil­lard, a cer­ti­fied public ac­coun­tant and a Re­al­tor, is chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer for Kokopelli Prop­erty Man­age­ment, 982-1013.

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