This week’s guest blogger is none other than NoVa real estate agent extraordinaire Laura Griffin! If you live in the area you may be familiar with her helpful tips on Facebook, full of fun info like where to catch the fireworks on the Fourth of July or the best fountain parks around. She is often referred to as The Real Estate Mommy because she is well-known for her work with families in particular. She was kind enough to share with us her best tips on how to go house hunting with kids.
How To Survive House Hunting With Kids
Hi Everyone!!! I’m honored to be here with you on the Second Ave Photography blog. Thank you to Blaire for allowing me to share my tips with you! I am a Real Estate Agent in the Northern Virginia area. My specialty is helping clients trade up from their current home into a larger home. Often times while helping clients with selling their home and purchasing a new one, we have to take little ones out with us house shopping. I have put together some of my favorite tips to make that journey a breeze, I hope you enjoy it!
If possible, leave the kids with a babysitter. When purchasing a new home you need time to process your likes and dislikes about any potential homes. Spending the time you have in a home focusing on the house is key to finding your next perfect home. Having your kids, especially kids under 10 years old can be very distracting. Find a family member, baby sitter, or trusted friend to watch them so you can have an undistracted showing process.
If you can’t find a baby sister talk try to schedule showings during your lunch break or take off a few hours from work to see homes while the kids are in school or day care. Being able to process the homes you are seeing will not only help you make the best decision but help to not place additional stress on you during this time
Can’t find child care to view homes? Don’t worry! I have a few tips to help ease this process.
Spend a day or so before explaining what is going to happen. When kids are prepared and you set the expectations, you will be setting them up to be successful. Kids tend to act out when they don’t know what is going on or what to expect. If they haven’t met your Realtor, introduce them and get them comfortable with the Realtor and become friends for the day.
Distractions, distractions, distractions.
Do your kids have an iPad or Kindle? Bring it along with you. Let the kids hang out at the kitchen table while you tour the house. Kids can be easily distracted by toys and other items that the current owners might have in the house. Have them sit at the table and watch a video on their device will prevent the kids from being tempted to play with items in the home.
I need a helper!
Kids love to be helpful, so give them a job. I give the kids an info sheet on each of the homes that I show my clients that day. The kids are my secretary, their job is to write on the back any notes that myself or their parents might want to remember about the home. I also have them ask their parents once they get in the car what they like or didn’t like about the home. Keep them involved and give them mini tasks to do. Including the kids in the process will make a day of touring homes fun with the kids.
Maximize your time.
Do some extra research on the home prior to seeing the home with your agent. Drive by the home a few days in advance, spend extra time looking at the pictures or floor plan online. If you feel from your prior day’s research the house isn’t a fit then take it off the list. If you are seeing homes with or without kids I would say limit yourself to no more than 5 homes. Seeing more than 5 homes in a day is overwhelming for anyone, especially kids. If you walk into the home and already know this isn’t the right home just let your agent know and move on to the next house. You won’t hurt anyone’s feelings it just means this wasn’t the right match for you.
Sometimes shopping for a home can take a few hours, pack a cooler with some snacks and drinks for the car. Give the kids something to eat in the car on the way to the next house. I suggest bringing special snacks that you don’t normally give your kids, make it special. But don’t forget the baby wipes to take care of sticky hands before the next house. Please don’t give kids snacks in the home, no one wants cookie crumbs trailing throughout their home.
I have to go potty!
“I have to go potty!” is never a sentence you want to hear from kids when we are in an area that doesn’t have one. From time to time a house might be vacant or not have the water turned on which means no working bathroom. Try to plan a potty break on the way. If you can let your Realtor know a head of time that the kids are coming ask them to schedule in a potty break between houses.
Buying your next home is a fun and exciting time for not only you but your kids. Get them involved where ever possible. If you have to bring your kids house shopping I hope my tips will help make the process a fun and smooth experience. Once you find your dream home, I highly recommend the book The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day; it’s a great book for kids all about moving to their new home.
About the author:
Laura is a buying and listing agent with Pearson Smith Realty servicing Loudoun and Fairfax County. Laura brings passion, perseverance, determination, and tenacity; making her an exceptional asset to Pearson Smith Realty. Her enthusiasm and drive for success will enable her to attain the home of your dreams or get you the most for your current home. Laura has a keen aptitude for real estate and is dedicated to guiding you in one of the biggest financial decisions in your life and assures you that it will be an honest, enjoyable and seamless experience.
Laura spends her free time with her husband Chad, daughter Madison, and son Brayden. She enjoys traveling, crafting and checking out the latest new restaurants around town. Laura is also the moderator for a few local mommy groups in the Loudoun County area. She has a passion for helping other moms succeed in their family and work life.
Find Laura on her website or Facebook page.