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If you’re planning to buy a new house, square footage is important, but so is the layout. A home’s design should allow people and pets to move around without bumping into furniture or getting in each other’s way.

Figure Out If a House’s Layout Will Work for Your Family
Your home’s design should allow people to move efficiently. Consider the positions of doors and how family members will pass through the rooms. 

For instance, if the kitchen leads to the living room, think about how people who enter the kitchen will walk to the living room and whether that could interfere with someone cooking dinner. If you would be likely to bump into each other a lot, that floor plan might not work for your family. If you will need to carry food from the kitchen to the dining room or carry groceries from the garage to the kitchen, look for a house with a layout that will allow you to walk in a straight line as much as possible.

Furniture should be spaced out in a way that helps you and your family avoid traffic jams in rooms or hallways. The locations of doors, windows or a fireplace may affect your options when it comes to arranging furniture. Your sofa and loveseat might fit perfectly in your current living room, but in a different house, it might be difficult to arrange them without making the room feel cramped. 

Think About Your Children’s Needs
If you have young kids, you may want a home with an open floor plan so they will have room to run around and play with toys. A toddler who is learning to walk will need enough space to maneuver while still allowing other people to get by. If you don’t have children, or if you have older kids, you may find that a different floor plan works better.

Safety should be an important consideration, especially if you have young kids. Children who like to run through the house can fall and get hurt. If furniture is tightly arranged, a child can strike a chair, couch or an edge of a table. Spacing out furniture or choosing a house with an open floor plan can reduce the risk of an accident. 

Find a House That Suits Your Family’s Needs
When shopping for a new home, people generally focus on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and square footage. Those things are important, but you should also think about whether a design is suitable for your family’s lifestyle. Consider convenience and safety to find the right home for you.