Growing up, my family relocated a few times – from Vancouver to Winnipeg and then back again – and, each time, my parents would take us house hunting with them. I loved it! I remember one house in particular that I fell in love with. I can’t tell you how many bedrooms or bathrooms it had (I was 6, after all) but I can tell you that the little boy who lived there had the best playdoh collection ever! I wanted that house! But my parents had other priorities. I was so disappointed! So, with that experience in mind, here are some tips for house hunting with kids:
LEAVE THEM AT HOME
If possible, leave the children at home with a babysitter. It can be tiring for kids to tour every single house you see. It’s better to involve them in the last two properties that you’re considering – if you’re torn. If you’re decided, then just show them the “one” and they’ll love it as much as you do.
IF YOU CAN’T LEAVE THEM BEHIND, HAVE THEM “CHECK IT OUT”
If your children are coming along for the ride, give them a checklist of things you’re looking for. Kids love a job – ok, scratch that. Kids love to be involved! 3 bedrooms? Check. 1 bathroom? Nope. You can score each property at the end of the day and pick your favourites.
GIVE THEM AN IMPORTANT JOB
Chances are, you’ll have your camera with you – or your phone. Give them the job of professional photographer! If you have more than one child, you can have a photographer – and a stager. Get creative and the kids will have fun. If you’re already envisioning a fight about who gets what role, they can always take turns. And, if all else fails, I’m sure that phone has kids’ games on it too.
Depending on the age of your children, make sure you have a backpack full of snacks, colouring books, a favorite doll or blanket – basically, a survival kit of distractions. If your kids are older and you give them your phone to play with, it may be theirs for the duration of the tour… so, if they have their own, don’t forget the iPad!
GO WITH THE FLOW
If the kiddos are tired after house number 3, call it a day and reschedule the rest for another day. If they reach their breaking point, don’t try to force them to continue. You won’t be productive with tired, cranky kids. There will likely be more than one day of house hunting in your (and your kids) future… so you want it to be a positive experience!
If they did a good job, stop at the dollar store (if you haven’t already) for a new, quiet activity that they can enjoy at home – from coloring books to playdoh. They’ll appreciate it… and so will you after a long day of house hunting with kids!
Thinking of buying or selling? Give Jane a call at 604.512.4622 to discuss all your real estate needs. Kids welcome!
Contact Jane Stevens: