Three S’s to remember for every mom type’s ideal home space

One of my early lessons as an aspiring real estate broker was to present a house in a way that appeals most to mothers. During house tours, I would highlight features like spacious kitchens with ample storage, lush gardens, breakfast nooks, utility and laundry areas, and bathrooms with walk-in closets—with, you got it, even more storage. Once these features receive the mom’s approval, everything else becomes secondary.

Conventionally, mothers are seen as the child-bearers and keepers of the household. However, it’s important to recognize that the “mom” category also includes various sub-markets: traditional nuclear family moms, single moms, grandmothers, and the emerging segment of fur moms. Understanding what each type of mom looks for in a home is crucial, not only for buyers but also for sellers, sales agents, and developers, because moms often play a pivotal role in the decision-making process. While each can be meticulous and specific with their requirements, there are three S’s they universally seek: Safety, Space, and Socializing.

Furthermore, each mom segment has its own specific three S’s to create the perfect nest for their family:

The Traditional Mom: Security, storage, and showcasing

For most traditional moms, the quintessential home is ideal for raising their families and validating their parenting excellence. One of the first things they consider is the security of their home environment. They will often check for safety features like childproofing and CCTV installations, as well as proximity to guardhouses, schools, and hospitals. Younger moms will clamor for spacious rooms where their energetic kids can play while they do household chores. Open floor plans that allow for easy child supervision while performing household tasks are also appealing.

Moms are intrinsically neat and organized people. Therefore, there should be ample storage in rooms where many activities take place. They will definitely look for shelves and cabinets to store small items that can be eyesores or space hogs, like clothes, toys, and linens.

At the end of the day, every traditional mom also wants to be praised as a magnificent housekeeper. So, apart from keeping all the mess out of view, they also want to channel their inner interior designer and beautify their homes for their guests to appreciate. They will prioritize high-quality materials and installations. Exquisite lighting, paintwork, tiles, storage systems, landscaping, finishings, and views—anything aesthetic to impress while entertaining guests and making everyone comfortable. Durable materials are also a priority to keep up with their young family’s rough and tumble lifestyle.

A valuable tip for moms undergoing new home construction is to consider having modifiable rooms where partition walls can be easily removed once the kids move out, allowing the home to be repurposed as they grow older.

The Single Mom: Simplicity, sustainability, and support system

Single moms juggle multiple responsibilities, making practicality crucial in their home choices. Budget constraints are often a concern, so single moms look for homes that offer good value for money without compromising essential features. Smaller spaces are more practical for maintaining security and ease of maintenance. A simple setup makes the home conducive to teaching children to chip in with household chores and share responsibilities, creating a more efficient household.

Low-maintenance homes with durable, child-friendly finishes help single moms manage their time and re-sources more effectively. The demands of kids and work can drain a single mom’s energy, making cozy nooks for relaxation essential. Balconies, pocket gardens, and even an extra room can significantly help in maintaining their sanity. Amenities such as playgrounds, pools, and gyms keep everyone busy outside while mom re-charges at home. Pet-friendly communities can also be a plus, as having a pet can teach young children responsibility and provide companionship.

As the old saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Therefore, supportive communities are ideal for single moms. Townhouse compounds or condominiums with proximity to family, friends, or community re-sources can provide much-needed support. Living in a neighborhood with accessible daycare centers, after-school programs, and reliable public transportation is beneficial. For widows, in particular, finding a home is often about stability and creating a nurturing environment for their children while managing their own emotional well-being. Therefore, communities with many social events and groups are a plus.

The Grandmother: Serenity, sovereignty, and… shrines??

After decades of hard work spent on both child-rearing and their careers, grandmothers prioritize having a peaceful home to make up for all those years of turmoil. If you visit a grandmother’s home, you will find staples such as manicured gardens, merienda nooks, and prayer corners. To maintain an ambiance of peace, elements such as clean air, nature, and silence are crucial. A spacious kitchen is also a common feature, as Baby Boomers are known for their love of home cuisine. This space allows them to create olfactory memories for their grandchildren by engaging them in baking and cooking.

When it comes to elders, their younger generation often prioritizes providing the highest level of security. For instance, placing super senior grandmothers in CBD condominiums can be practical due to their proximity to hospitals, churches, malls, and other conveniences. However, it’s important to remember that they also value their independence due to decades of learning and experience. After all, who taught you most of what you know now but them? So, make sure that these places also allow them to do their own chores or socialize with other elders.

Younger grandmothers in their late 50s or early 60s may feel limited by small spaces. Although they already have grandchildren, they often still have the energy to take on more activities. For them, bungalows are a popular choice due to their low maintenance and lack of stairs. Modifying bedrooms to create more space is also a good idea. For instance, knocking down walls in unused bedrooms can be practical for creating more space for indoor exercise and enjoyment, such as a piano area, ballroom dancing, book club meetings, yoga, meditation, and other activities.

For those who have chosen to stay in the homes where they raised their children, a common trend is repurposing bedrooms into storage and activity rooms. One bedroom, while retaining traces of their child’s youth, such as teen idol posters and Sesame Street bed covers, can double as a sewing room. Another bedroom can serve as a stockroom for items that don’t fit in their children’s smaller homes, like baby strollers, cribs, and luggage. Another room, if not the living room, can be a makeshift playroom where the grandchildren can play to their lola’s delight. More often than not, there will be a guest room to welcome vacationing relatives.

Many grandmothers can be labeled as hoarders, but keeping collectibles at home helps prevent empty nest syndrome. This can be a sensitive topic, as younger family members may see this habit as impractical and overwhelming. However, for grandmothers, it’s a way of holding on to memories. Consider arranging for storage rentals or creating organized shelves and cabinetry to keep these items from becoming eyesores. Remember, every grandmother’s prized possessions are her children and grandchildren, so expect to find shrines devoted to them in their homes.

The Fur Mom: Sanctuary, Sanitation, and Snuggling

For mothers whose children are of the furry variety, finding a home that accommodates animals is a top priority. As a fur mom myself, pet-friendliness and security are crucial. Cages and leashes are big no-nos, and low-tolerance neighbors are major red flags. The freedom to roam and sniff around is paramount in keeping pets healthy, so open spaces, good ventilation, strong running water, and nature are essential.

Dogs need to walk around to find the perfect spot to do their business, making parks and walking trails appealing for pup moms. Meanwhile, cats need well-ventilated homes with plenty of windows and balconies to keep their litter boxes fresh and aired out. Just like kids, pets can get dirty after a long day of playing, making bath-tubs or wet areas essential for keeping them clean.

These critters are also very curious and may roam into spaces where they shouldn’t, so it’s important to have fenced yards. On high floors, balconies should be secured with nets or screens so they won’t slip through the slats. Fur moms also steer away from homes near busy and noisy streets to prevent vehicular runovers and stress. Pets, especially kittens and puppies, like to gnaw, chew, and play rough, so durable materials made of stone or steel are preferred over wood and fabric.

In multidwelling communities, tolerance for animals may vary. Therefore, fur moms need assurance that the community or homeowner association (HOA) is pet-friendly, with reasonable regulations regarding pet ownership.

Every fur mom’s highlight of the day is coming home to an excited pet eager for hugs and kisses. Therefore, comfortable furniture such as fluffy couches and beds, as well as lounging areas such as balconies and pocket gardens, are major come-ons.

Mothers have different home needs at different points or circumstances in their lives. But what’s common for all is the desire to provide a home that will make their families feel loved, comfortable, and secure. By recognizing and addressing these varied requirements, real estate professionals can better assist mothers in finding a home where their families can thrive.