New year, new family home? What’s the best way to go house-hunting with the kids?

When you’re looking to move your family to a new home and/or a new area, it is so important to involve your children in the decision making process. Taking them on the house-hunting journey allows them to get excited and helps to ease the stress of adapting to a new area when you finally find that perfect house.

Involving them in every single viewing, however, is not necessarily the best idea. It’s a frustrating enough process for adults: excitedly viewing something that ticks all the boxes online, only to feel your heart drop when you realise the estate agent has failed to inform you of that all important ‘busy road’ / ‘excessive flood risk’ / ‘noisy dog kennels’ next door! Imagine your children having the same excitement, even finding their dream climbing frame already installed in the garden – and having their hopes repeatedly dashed.

Here’s our top tips for house-hunting with the family:

1. If you’ve got the time, try to narrow down your choices to three or four properties before asking the children along. That way they are not overwhelmed by too much choice.

2. Agree a criteria as a family as to what is important to each of you – anything goes. Then give a score out of 10 to each point after every viewing – always include ‘gut feel’ as a measure. That way everyone’s input counts to an overall score and it can help you make the final decision.

3. Brief the kids beforehand on what to expect: it is someone else’s house so no climbing on the beds / furniture / putting sticky hands on the plasma TV etc. The owners might be there too so no loud negative comments as ultimately, if there are several interested parties, they may get the decision on whether to sell to you or not!

4. Keep them busy. Get the children to take photos and make notes, e.g.number of windows in each room, size of the bedrooms, list the features in the garden – some stats may even come in useful! If there’s a full day of viewings planned, bring an iPad or similar, find the local park, get them to let off some steam at any opportunity in between appointments.

5. Be realistic. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver to your children (i.e. ‘that princess bedroom’) until an offer is accepted.

At ScoutBee we understand how hard it is dragging youngsters around house viewings – when you sign up with us, we’ll keep unnecessary viewings down to a minimum, help keep the children entertained – and promise not to judge if there are any meltdowns!