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It's no secret that moving is stressful. Add a couple of kids into the mix, and the process of selling, buying, and moving houses can feel completely overwhelming. Fortunately, coming up with a game plan can help make these tasks a lot easier. For everything from prepping your home for sale to helping your kids cope with the move, our guide will get you started.
Come up With a Solid Budget
Before you look at houses, Parents.com recommends getting preapproved for a mortgage. This lets you know what kind of price range you should be looking to buy in. After this, add up your family’s income sources and list all of your monthly expenses. If you're a first-time homeowner, don’t forget to add any new monthly expenses you'll encounter. Determine how much money you have to spend on housing, and aim to keep your mortgage payments under 25 percent of your income. Then, get online and research neighborhoods where you can find the best prices for homes in your area. For example, homes in Port Hadlock-Irondale have a median listing price of $269,000.
Prepare Your Home for Showings
Tidying up your home is difficult with kids running around. HomeLight recommends packing up all of your kid's clutter from shared living spaces first. Besides leaving a few toys for your kids in their own rooms, pack everything into boxes (you can find a medium-sized box for $1.49) and store them somewhere out of the home. Removing these personal belongings from your house can help buyers picture their own lives there. You should also remove collections of tacky trinkets, hand-me-down furnishings, and anything that shows off your family’s personal interests.
Find a Great Real Estate Agent
A good real estate agent will coordinate house showings with your family’s schedule. This way, children will be out of the house when buyers come around, and you don't have to worry about tidying up at the last minute. When it comes time to buy, a good real estate agent will listen carefully to your priorities and help you find a home that meets your family's needs. Make sure they're licensed, up to date on market trends, and know about upcoming construction projects in the neighborhood. You don’t want to move into the perfect house just to have the beautiful green space next door paved over.
Choose a Kid-Friendly House
Try not to fall in love with a big, beautiful house that has none of the features you need. Before you start looking, make a list of everything you want in your new home. What would have made your previous house better? Many families want things like a big yard, schools and parks within walking distance, and bedrooms on the same floor. You should also consider how the home will hold up to a growing family. Does it have enough bedrooms? Bathrooms? Space to play? Additionally, take a stroll through the community and meet the neighbors. Other young families on the block will help create a kid-friendly environment for your child to thrive in.
Reduce Tantrums and Objections from Children
Selling the family home and moving to an unfamiliar place is bound to upset children at some point in the process. You can help by communicating openly with them and framing the move as a fun adventure. Create a plan for moving day so your kids know what to expect. You can even help them design their new room so they can get excited about the change. Keep your child’s old bedsheets and blankets instead of buying new ones so they feel at ease in their new room. Also, maintain your regular routine after the move, and set up your kid’s room as quickly as possible. This will give them a sense of familiarity amongst the chaos of moving boxes.
Moving into a new home with your family can be exciting, so be sure to share this excitement with your kids. They might be getting a bigger yard, a whole room to themselves, or a chance to make new friends with kids next door. Focus on the positives of moving and reward your child for putting up with the chaos once everything has settled.