When you’re getting ready to purchase a new home, whether it’s your first or your fifteenth, there are many things you need to keep in mind throughout the process. Your budget, the floor plan, your commutes, the school district. it can all get overwhelming! This is especially the case when you factor in the following question: How are we going to get the kids involved in the process?
Fear not, because there are plenty of ways to include children from start to finish, depending on their ages. However, you need to walk a fine line between hearing their valuable input and letting them run the show! The key is to get them involved at the right moments in the buying process. This will keep their interests peaked but also give the grown-ups the ability to have the final say overall.
1. Create a Family Wish List
If you already do family meetings in your household, it’s time to call one. If this is new to your clan, arrange a time to all sit down together. It could be a Friday night, a Sunday afternoon, or some weekend evening during dinner. The point is, everybody is there and ready to contribute.
Begin with discussing the move overall, and answer any general questions they may have about the process and timeline. When you begin to talk about the new house, apartment or condo you’re moving to, it might be good to get out a pen and paper to take notes. Recording the “bullet points” of everybody’s thoughts ensures your children feel heard and respected during this process.
Take this time to create your family’s overall wish list. This can include simple things like “a kitchen with room for a table” or “separate bedrooms for the kids but a shared bath is ok.” Emphasize that these aren’t set in stone and that everyone will need to be flexible, but have fun with the process. Feel free to get as creative as you want here! After all, this is a mini-blueprint of your future family space
2. Bring Them Along, But Not To Every House
Let’s face it, especially if you have young ones, it could be a bit of a time waster to prioritize having children at every potential home viewing. Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable to bring them along if you’d like! However, if you have the option to get a first glimpse sans-children, it might be a wise idea.
Kids can get their hearts absolutely set on something, and it can be hard to redirect that one-track mind. If you bring them along to every visit, they might get fixated on this home’s pool or that home’s rec room, and it can derail the overall goals of the family. Consider making official decisions as the adult(s) in the room, and then let the little ones weigh in after the second or third showing. This way, you know it’s a serious contender, and you can still hear the wise thoughts from the younger family members that you may not have considered.
3. Get Older Kids Involved In The Tech
One cool thing about how the real estate market is changing is that a lot of things are available for viewing online. Sure, there are lots of photos of listings available, but there are also virtual tours and video walk-throughs which, at a first pass, can be just as helpful as a physical viewing. Also, the online sites have all the house and neighborhood “stats” right there on the same page.
How’s that for convenience?
There are slick options for viewing real estate listings right on your smartphone, and you won’t even have to leave the house to do it. A quick online search that includes your desired location, such as “new homes for sale in Edmonton”, will deliver a list of available properties for everyone to browse from the comfort of your home. Better yet, consider getting the teens in your home on the case! Let them use their screen time to help in the house hunt, and see what they come up with. If you like what they find, go and check it out in-person.
Final Thoughts On Keeping Your Kids “In” On The Process
There are definitely a lot of priorities to juggle when house hunting, and your kids’ needs and preferences are no doubt right at the top of the list. However, try not to make this a stressful experience – there’s no need to overcomplicate this!
Try to get the kiddos involved with some of the suggestions on our list. It will give them the chance to feel heard and valued as a member of the family, and it could also help with any moving apprehensions they might have right out of the gate. Even if you don’t get the shark-filled moat they may have dreamed about, it’s still a fun and valuable family experience overall. Happy Hunting!