How to Involve Your Kids in the Homebuying Process
Over the last couple months, things have been busy for my family and a lot of my extended family and friends have no idea why. So, I’m letting the cat out of the bag so to speak and share the news with all of you, we are buying a house!
For the last decade we rented and moved several times, we never took buying seriously, because we kept explaining to friends and family that we didn’t know where we really wanted to settle down for the long haul, there were talks about staying in Boston, moving south, and even some contemplating about a move to Brazil.
Yet something clicked a few months ago, and we realized we loved where we lived, so it was time to think seriously about buying. However, like most first-time buyers, we had no idea where to start. We are now in the final leg of our home buying journey, and I’m excited to partner with Bank of America to share some of my experiences and some valuable information they provide in their Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report (HBIR).
According to the HBIR, 4 in 10 first-time buyers plan to move closer to immediate family and one-quarter of buyers plan to move closer to extended family. I can completely understand this, we moved to Florida last year to be closer to my parents, and I think being closer to them has a huge impact on our decision to buy.
The HBIR has also discovered that children have a major say in the homebuying process. 63% of homebuyers say their children have some input on the type of home they plan to buy.
I am part of that 63%, my children had some say about the key parts of our move. For us, we had just made a huge cross-country move a year ago, and that can be a scary transition for children. So, when we started getting serious about another move to buy a home, I wanted to let the kids feel as involved as possible.
We had several discussions about buying a home with our children, and they each had different wants and worries. Aidan wanted a big yard, Lilly wanted a big closet, and Anthony worried about having to change schools because he has finally made some close friends. I didn’t take the kids out to every house we looked at because I think that would have been too chaotic for myself and them. However, once we found a house we were serious about, I took them out to look at it before we made an offer. This is a huge step in our life, and I really want everyone in my family to be excited about it.
We ended up finding a house that had a large yard, a big closet for Lilly, and what was most important to both Anthony and me, it is in the same school district as our current apartment.
There are countless reasons to make a move, whether you need a larger home or yard, are looking for a better school system, are locating closer to family, a new career, and so on. However, these moves can be a more joyous occasion when everyone in the family finds a little something in their new home to be excited about, so I believe keeping kids involved is a great way to make the transition smoother.
Here are a few tips for involving your kids in the homebuying process:
- Discuss the process before and during your search. Explain the type of house you are realistically looking for, my youngest wanted to buy a house on the water with a pool, which as you can imagine is completely out of our price range. We showed them some pictures of houses we planned to look at, to give them an idea of what to expect. Then we asked them what would make the new house awesome for them, and each had a different answer, however, ironically, they were all answers that were already on my wish list.
Plus, as the house hunting begins, and some stress settles in, they will have questions, some will have hundreds of questions. Give each child some special time alone so that they have a chance to open up as often as needed to you about their questions and concerns.
- Show them the house once you’ve already looked at the property. Dragging the kids to each showing will just cause unnecessary stress, especially for younger children. We looked at one amazing house, it had a pool, huge yard, extra bedroom, everything, including termites. If I had the kids with me at that showing, I know without a doubt they would have fallen in love with the house, and then trying to explain to an 8-year-old we can’t buy because of something you can’t see wouldn’t be fun.
- Once you’ve found a house you’re serious about and perhaps have an offer in on, it’s time to include the whole family. Take each child to a spot in the house you know they’ll get excited about, and talk about the house. Lilly saw her new closet and she was ready to start packing. Aidan went out back to the yard, and didn’t want to leave “just go pack mom” he said. Anthony learned we were still in his school zone and on the same bus route, along with being walking distance to his favorite playground, so even the hard to please preteen was smiling. We left the viewing with all 3 kids happy to move, and now our closing is tomorrow.
Buying a home is an exciting time, but it can also be scary if you don’t know where to start. Are you confused on how to get started with your homebuying journey? I began the process by connecting with a specialist on the Bank of America Home LoansHome Loans website here!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bank of America.