Many home buyers with kids wonder if they should bring their children along with them when viewing homes for sale. They may be from out of town and not comfortable with strangers watching their kids, a sitter may not be in their current budget, or they may think including their child in the house hunting process will help them feel more comfortable with moving. As real estate professionals, we’ve seen all situations and hope that our experiences will help you understand what to expect.
House Hunting with Kids
House hunting is an invigorating experience for young children. Even the most well-behaved kids can become overly-excited by the unfamiliar environments they find themselves in as they move from home to home. They can’t be faulted for this. It’s just how kids are made, but as a result, parents can become distracted and unable to focus on the properties. By the end of the day, all the homes are a mishmash of memories with gaping holes, which can complicate the decision process.
Viewing homes can also be very tiring for home buyers, especially when it’s a full day of getting in and out of the car, driving between multiple neighborhoods, and discussing the potential of each property. Imagine how it must be for a child! An eight-year-old’s attention span is only 40 minutes (at most). Add or subtract 5 minutes per year for each age difference, and you’ll have an idea of what to expect. Stretching that limit can be stressful on them…and the parents!
Making it Work
So, what can you do about it? First, if your intention is to include your kids in the buying process to help them feel better about moving, you can always set them up with their own listings search and allow them to voice their opinions about potential homes. If you have a relatively long list of homes to view, you may want to have them stay at home while you filter out the obviously unsuitable properties. Then, you can bring them along when you take a second look at your favorites.
If you’re unable to get a sitter or they’re not old enough to stay home alone, plan for multiple short days i.e. don’t try to fit 8 homes all into one day and attempt to schedule properties that are near each other on the same day. Allow for longer showing slots if you have a baby or toddler so you have ample time to take breaks, attend to their needs, and view all the properties. If you express your concerns to your real estate agent, they can devise a suitable showing schedule.
Of course, the older the child, the more they’ll be able to tolerate longer days, and teenagers can provide valuable insight and a different way perspective. One of the real estate agents on our team overlooked her current home during the initial search. Her teen daughter found it online, and it turned out to be perfect for their needs.
No one can tell you how to manage you family, but we want you to know that house hunting can be taxing on young children. If you are confident that your kids will handle the showing process well and not distract you from making a sound decision about a property, bring them along. You know your children best. They are always welcome with The Cameron Team!
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