Home Shopping with Your Kids in Tow

Written by Posted On Friday, 20 June 2014 10:17


As it is, house hunting is an involved and exhausting process.  Add into the mix being in a position where you have to bring your children in tow and the stress level rises. Whether you have crying babies, active toddlers, or moody teenagers along for the ride, there is no doubt a house hunt with your kids can present a whole extra set of challenges.

Whether your home search is crunched for time or you’re moving towns and don’t yet have childcare set up, here are a few tips to smooth the process of attending showings and open houses with your kids by your side:

Do Your Legwork Upfront.

Spending some extra time researching properties and neighborhoods before you hit the road to look at homes can better prepare you for the house hunt. By eliminating any properties that don’t match your criteria, you’ll save yourself from lengthening your search and dragging the whole family along. Make lists, prioritize your “must haves,” and do some online research so that you can exclude any homes that don’t have what you’re looking for.

Give Yourself Time.

If you can, avoid visiting all of the properties on your list in one day, spread out showings over several days or even weeks. A day crammed with showings can cause adults to become frustrated and cranky, so just imagine what it could do to your kids.

Mold Your Children’s Expectations.

Make sure you explain to your kids what the home search process will be like. Set ground rules for acting respectfully while viewing homes and remind them that in most cases, the current homeowners are still living there. Ask them how they would like strangers to treat their favorite belongings if the situation were reversed. Lay down the law when it comes to running, fighting, or touching personal belongings. And be sure to keep an eye on what they are doing when you do start visiting properties.

Bring Supplies.

Snacks, drinks, and entertainment options are a must on the day of your home search. You know your kids the best, so tailor your plans to their tastes. Bring along crayons and coloring books for young artists, hand-held video games for tech-oriented kids, and phones or iPads for teenagers. If you typically limit the use of electronics, consider extending usage time to reward good behavior. And if you have babies or toddlers, don’t forget to bring along plenty of diapers, wipes, and anything you might need while you are out and about. Also, take breaks so that kids can recharge. Consider stopping at a neighborhood park to play for half an hour or promise to take the kids for a treat at a local restaurant or ice cream stand when the day has ended.


Whether you are allowed to take photos or just keep notes, find a way to remind yourself about the best (and worst) features of each property you visit so that you know which homes you’ll want to see again and which won’t make the cut. It’s hard enough to remember the finer points of multiple properties; let alone doing so with the responsibility of having to keep an eye on your kids at the same time.

With a little advance work and planning, including children in your home search doesn’t have to be stressful. Consider it a shared family experience that will lead to a new home that suits the needs of everyone from the youngest to oldest members of your family.  And in instances where there are more than one adult present, tag-teaming always works well.


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