One major concern for families planning to move to a new home is making it as comfortable as possible for their children. Many child experts agree that involving the kids in the process of moving is a good way to ease the tensions associated with moving. Taking your children house hunting will help get them excited about the idea of having a new home. Below are some pointers on making house hunting a great experience for the whole family.
Narrow your options.
There is no need to take your children on a walk through every potential house on your list. If you can, wait until you have narrowed your options down to just a few houses before bringing the kids with you. Or at least limit your house tours to three or fewer houses per day when the kids are along. There is no need to make the kids overly tired or bored with the process.
Make sure they know the rules.
Make sure the kids know they will be going through someone else's home. They must treat the sellers and their property with respect. Make sure your children are in the same room with you at all times and not handling any of the seller's property.
Also, if the sellers are present, your children should be told to keep their opinions about the house to themselves until you leave. Negative comments can sway an owner to sell to another buyer and positive ones could work against you when trying to negotiate a lower price.
Give the kids a job.
Depending on the age of your children, let them take notes on the properties you are looking at. They can record information about the houses to go over later, including: location, square footage, types and numbers of rooms, etc. They can add their thoughts about the house too. This will help them remember the homes and also make them feel included in the process.
Equip your children with games, books, and small toys in case they become bored. Bring along music for the car or audio books. This is especially important if you will be driving for extended periods in between properties.
Take a break.
If you pass a park or playground close to a property you are interested in, let your kids have a quick break to play. This will also give you an idea of the local lifestyle and let you see if there are other children the same age as yours in the neighborhood.
Timing is everything.
Try to look at houses in the morning or after nap time when your kids are happy and rested. Also remember to bring along snacks and drinks to keep energy levels up.
Ask for input.
Even though the final decision on what home to purchase is yours, ask your children for their opinions. This will let them know you value their thoughts on the potential new home and neighborhood.