Children and Home Shopping
Children, experts agree it’s a good thing to involve the children when a family makes the decision to buy a home. You may have mixed feelings about taking the kids house-hunting, however. (It’s hard enough for just two people to decide on a new home!) Here are a few pointers that may help:
Narrow The Field First
The kids don’t need to visit every potential house on the list. If possible, wait until you’ve selected two or three serious prospects before bringing the children along. In any case, limit your kid-accompanied tours to three houses or less per day.
Provide Behavioral Guidelines
Remind the kids to treat the owners and their property with respect. Make sure the kids stay in the same room with you at all times and that they “keep their hands to themselves.”
If the owners are present, your family members should also keep their thoughts about the house to themselves until after you leave the property. Making positive comments in the presence of the owners could work against you when negotiating the price, while negative comments could spark a hostile reaction, causing the owner to sell to another buyer.
Make The Kids Your Secretaries
If they’re old enough, your children can each keep a log of the homes you look at, including detailed information about the house — location, size, types and numbers of rooms, etc. Have them describe they’re feelings about the house, too, particularly what they think it would be like to live there.
Locate The Nearest Playground
A post-tour trip to the park (or local mall, if you have teenagers) can be a great motivator for good behavior and a nice way to get to know the area. Walking the streets in the neighborhood will also give you and the kids a better feeling for the local lifestyle and whether there are other children the same age as yours in the area.
Bring along books or games to help your kids through the “I’m bored” stage. If you’ll be driving for extended periods, bring some audio books or favorite music.
Time Your Tours For Success
Plan to look at houses early in the day or just after (certainly not during) nap time. Be prepared with snack foods and drinks to keep energy levels up.
Let Them Know Their Input Counts.
Although the final decision is yours, your children will feel better about the move if they know you value what they think about their potential new home and neighborhood.