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Successful house hunting with children (it's possible!)

Blog by Kim Twohey | August 24th, 2016


House hunting can be stressful at the best of times.  Trying to house hunt with children can make the process even more challenging!  Here are some of my best tips to help you and your children have a successful house hunting experience. 

1.  Involve your children in the process.  Ask younger children questions about what colour they would like their room painted, what they like about the houses you have viewed, or what they did not like about the houses.  Have older children sit with you and check out houses online, involve them in discussions about neighbourhoods and home styles. 

2.  Supervise young children when touring homes.  If you find it difficult to check out the house while supervising your child, take turns with your spouse or ask your Realtor to entertain your child while you look around.  Most Realtors are more than happy to help out!

3.  Use electronics.  If your child is old enough, bring along an iPad or download age-appropriate games onto your phone.  This can entertain your child while you complete offer paperwork.  This is a great option for older children, too, who can easily become bored with the house hunting process. 

4.  Plan viewings at your child’s best time of day.  As much as possible, avoid scheduling showings during your child’s nap time or close to bed time.

5.  Bring snacks.  Prevent hunger-related meltdowns by being prepared with delicious and nutritious snacks that your child can eat on the go.

6.  Take breaks.  If you are seeing several homes in one day, schedule a few park breaks to allow your child to move around, get some fresh air, and blow off a little steam.  For older children, plan a quick trip to a nearby mall or a local coffee shop.

7.  Give your child a job to do.  Keep your child engaged by asking them to count how many rooms are in the house, find something in the house that starts with a certain letter, or to spot anything blue.  These types of fun little games can keep your child from getting bored and can even help them to later remember all the houses they toured!  You can ask older children to make notes on the feature sheets as you tour homes.

8.  Bring small and interesting new toys.  If you have toddlers or preschoolers, it can be really tough for them to understand that they cannot play with the toys they see in the houses.  Before starting your house hunt, put together a stash of small but interesting toys that you can tuck away in your car, purse, or coat pocket.  Bring out one small toy at a time if you see your child struggling with not being able to play with the toys they see during the house tours.  Ideas include a small Rubik’s cube, fidget toys, silly putty, pipe cleaners, a koosh ball, finger puppets, glow sticks, and small books.

9.  Ask older children to check online for restaurants, neighbourhood reviews, and activities that are nearby each home you view.

10. Be realistic.  You know yourself and your children better than anyone else does.  Plan your house hunting so that the entire family can enjoy the process as much as possible. 

Good luck with your house hunt!