House-hunting with Young Children: Is It Really a Good Idea?
In a word: Yes. But, will it always “feel” like a good idea? Umm, no, it won’t.
Sometimes, as a parent of young children, you will feel like a close relative of the old woman who lived in a shoe. You agree to meet your Realtor® at a home you’re really interested in, and, suddenly, you have “so many children, you don’t know what to do.” You make sure everyone is wearing (or at least, has) shoes and visits the bathroom. You expedite the process of loading everyone into the car and oversee the buckling in.
Finally, you’re on your way. Two minutes before you arrive, the littlest one falls asleep and is noticeably unhappy about being roused when you get there. You cajole him or her into quietness as you issue reminders to your older children. “Remember, we’re just looking.” “Don’t run in the house.” “Take your shoes off.” (“Well, first, you need to get your shoes back on; then take them off at the door.”)
As you enter the home, you’re trying to focus on the features and merits of the home, while quietly assessing where your offspring are. As one of them wonders if he could squeeze into the pantry and still get the door shut, you’re probably wondering why you thought it was a good idea to bring the children along.
Let me answer that for you, please. Here are 4 reasons why house-hunting with young children is a good idea.
Housing-hunting with young children prepares them and smooths the way for the move.
Your children face a big adjustment. They will have to leave their current home and friends. Even if they love your new home and make friends quickly, they will face changes. Moving will be easier for your kids if they have been part of the process.
If you bring them with you, you can remind your children of the things they especially like in this new home. “Won’t it be nice for each of you to have your own room?” “You’ll have so much more space to play outside.” "Our new house will be closer to your preschool." You'll have easier conversations if you've all seen the new home.
If the packing process makes your children start to feel sad about the move, they can visualize their new room and think through where each of their special treasures will fit. This will help alleviate some of the stress involved with moving.
House-hunting with young children lets them remind you of the features that are important to them.
Obviously, you won’t neglect the big things, but you might overlook some items that seem relatively minor to you, but are really important to them. If they are there, your children will be sure to remind you.
For example, we recently helped a couple with 3 young children purchase a home. The oldest likes to practice shooting baskets. He really wanted a home with yard space for his basketball hoop—and his parents knew the necessity of an HOA that allowed outdoor basketball hoops.
His folks brought him and his siblings along when they viewed the home they eventually purchased. They took a few minutes before they toured the home to drive through the neighborhood looking for basketball hoops in people’s yards. When they saw several, they were thrilled—and favorably inclined toward the home before any of them stepped inside.
House-hunting with young children lets them share their unique insights on the home.
Is there a closet-sized “void” hidden behind the hall closet? Your children will find it, and suggest reasons for why it’s there and how it could be used. They will notice unusual furnishings, determine which bedroom should be whose and offer “helpful” suggestions about how to arrange furniture.
Children also help their parents remember to inquire about specific items that stay with the home—because they wonder about things they see. One youngster pondered whether the current owners planned to leave their pet bird. Another one saw 2 bookshelves loaded with Lego® models, and asked his dad if they would stay.
Listening to your children ponder the possibilities of what might convey with the home may prompt you to wonder—and ask—about items that interest you.
There’s a 4th less tangible, but equally-important, reason why house hunting with young children is a great idea:
Taking your young children with you when you house-hunt tells them that they—and their input—are important.
Making the effort to take your children with you and listen to their feedback tells them they make a difference. They are part of the family equation—and they matter. That's good for your family.
I’ll be the first to admit that house-hunting with young children can be tricky. There are hurdles regarding logistics, behavior, and timing to jump. However, taking your children with you can reap unexpected benefits—and some cherished memories.
If you’re still skeptical after reading this article, stay tuned. Our next post provides tips for being a “house-hunting with young children” pro.
In the meantime, if you need a reliable and experienced Realtor® to guide you through the process of buying or selling a home, please contact us at 864-420-7771 or at walkersriversideproperties.com.
“We do the HOMEwork for you.”