02 Jan House Hunting With Kids? Tips for a Successful Day
By Barbara Pronin, RISMedia Columnist
Looking for that perfect house can be daunting enough on your own. With children in tow, it can seem impossible-but it isn’t if you prepare. To help make house hunting with children more manageable, take a few tips from Riverside, Calif. Realtor Sherri Smith:
1. Plan a shorter day. Six hours is about what most kids can manage, so plan three hours in the morning then a lunch break (maybe at a fast food place with a playground on site so they can run off some pent-up energy) and then three hours more.
2. Bring a change of clothes. Even if it’s just a clean t-shirt for each kid, spills and stains do happen, so this way, you won’t feel the need to go back home and change before continuing.
3. Establish some ground rules. No touching, no running, stay off the furniture, etc. Remind them gently as the day progresses.
4. Make it a treasure hunt. See who can find the house numbers first. As you leave a house, have the kids give it a name to remember it by-the swing set house, or the palm tree house or the trophy collection house. Keep a bagful of small prizes with you, to reward the kid who “wins.” An erasable slate, a handheld game or a notebook for playing Tic Tac Toe or Hangman will help keep them busy as you drive.
5. Take a camera with you to help you remember the exterior of each home and have the kids pose for you out front.
6. Take a notebook to jot down each home’s pluses and minuses. If the kids are old enough, give them their own notebooks so they can draw the features they want to remember or jot down their impressions.
7. Make it the kids’ chore to pick up a flier. Let them draw pictures on the back if they like, or write down the catchy name they gave it.
8. Listen. Children are generally pretty observant, so listen to their comments each time you get back into the car. You may not have noticed the backyard swing set was falling apart, but it’s a pretty good bet they did!
Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.