Before the Home Sweet Home: Should You Go House Hunting with the Kids?

family

The most fun part of buying a home is property hopping. Yes, it’s exhausting, but you get to see for real the open kitchens, minimalist bedrooms, well-manicured lawns, and nice neighbourhoods. You’re also taken to that headspace where you don’t worry about mortgage approvals and property taxes. You’re just caught on cloud nine, envisioning yourself living in these cosy, warm spaces. When buying a family home, though, it’s not just you and your spouse’s “cloud nine” that matters. Your kids’ needs and wants should be a consideration, too. In this regard then, almost every couple asks, “Should we take the children to our house hunting?”

Why You Should and Shouldn’t

A new home is an exciting milestone for adults, but it’s a different story for the kids. For sure, you’ve seen so many studies (or watched countless films) showing how moving to a new environment takes a toll on children. This is the first reason it’s good to bring kids to open houses or private showings. It makes the new home real, prompting them to accept this new reality just before the actual drastic moving begins. This gradually eases anxiety as the experience makes them imagine themselves living in a new home. More importantly, you want your kids to feel included in this big family decision you’re taking. They may not be completely aware of your involving them, but they will certainly feel a sense of appreciation when you ask what they think about the house and land in Grovedale or the suburban neighbourhood in Melbourne. Over time, this habit of allowing kids to have a say will instil confidence in them.

At the same time, though, taking kids may sometimes involve a backlash. For one, it can distract you from the task you’re accomplishing in the open house. It’s harder to take notes and pay attention to the details of the property when you’re running around, chasing after your kids, or guarding their every move to make sure that they’re not breaking anything. You’re not alone in this struggle. The agents themselves are also trying their best to keep their client’s home intact while your kids are there. If your children make a huge mess, whether it’s a couch stain or a broken vase, don’t expect the sellers to give your offer a nod. In other words, whether you like it or not, your kids’ behaviour can be a predictor of your offer’s acceptance or rejection.

How to Go About This

house for sale

As you can see, there are real merits and some disadvantages when you take your kids to home hunting. For this reason, your goal then is to maximise the positives and downplay the negatives. There are many ways to achieve this. For one, you can follow the unspoken rule of bringing kids who are eight years old and up only. These are the kids who supposedly have strong control already over their emotions and behaviour, so it’s okay to have them in open houses. Younger ones may be too much to deal with in an already-action-packed house hunting endeavour, so it’s best to leave them at home with a babysitter.

If you must take younger kids, though, there are two things you have to remember: Keep them busy, and let them have a nanny. This way, you can focus solely on your note-taking tasks when inspecting a property. At the same time, give the real estate agent an assurance that the kids are well-behaved and well-monitored. It’s also wise to take the kids at the final stages of your house hunting just to give them that experience with reduced stress and hassle on your end.

Kids are a big consideration when it comes to finding your next family home. Involve them in the process, but don’t lose sight of your primary task either. All the best in your house hunting!