Since we moved across country a few months ago we have been staying with my parents while we wait for our old house to sell. While it's been great to have a helping hand with the koala, we miss our own space (as do my parents I'm sure) and it looks like we finally may have sold our house. So the hunt for our new home begins!
The last house we bought, our first house, was great for what it was but it wasn't a family home and was never intended to be. It was our foot in the real estate door. Our transition home. We bought it after only a few weekend of house hunting and needed to find somewhere quickly, so we compromised a little on what we wanted. This time we are looking for our forever (or at least forever for now) home, so we are taking our time.
This was our fourth weekend in a row of looking for said house, and I'm exhausted! We have seen about 20 houses, maybe more, and only a couple of them we actually like. Taking our baby in and out of her car seat to see a different house every half hour has resulted in more than a few mini-meltdowns. Add to that trying to find somewhere to feed her. Cue the sitting in the car before an open home trying to feed a distracted cranky baby - not fun. We've also changed her nappy in the backseat several times, resulting with one minor spillage incident. Goodbye new car smell!
She's had some very long days, the poor little thing, and we're still yet to find her home.
For some reason, when you have a family, you look at houses completely different. Those floor to ceiling glass windows you used to love are now a dangerous hazard! The stairs down to that sunken living room appears impossible to cordon off from your little crawler. Multiple sets of stairs just mean extra back ache lugging your little one up and down them. One house we saw, for example, was beautiful. Until we noticed every window was floor to ceiling plate glass, the shiny tiles would result is dozens on injuries for playful children and the split level design complete with slippery tiles would probably lead to split lips and broken arms.
When we looked for our first house, we were quite clinical in our approach. Knowing it was a transition house for us we looked at it more as investors - what's the price trend in the area, can we make our money back, how hard can we negotiate. This time, I feel like its a much more emotional journey. After all, we are looking for the house we want our family to grow up in. I imagine teaching my daughter to bake in the kitchen, the kids running through the backyard chasing each other, building a pillow fort in the lounge room.
One house we saw, I completely fell in love with! We put in a offer and it was rejected. Sadly, it looks like it might sell out of our price range .... devastated! Oh well, we can only keep looking for that illusive 'perfect' home.
Some things I've learnt for next time:
- Make sure you have nappies IN the nappy bag before you leave the house or you'll have to skip that open home you were really excited to see for an emergency nappy dash to the supermarket.
- Bring someone along, like an unsuspecting grandparent, to help watch bub so you can actually get a decent look at a house.
- Go prepared with a list of 'family friendly' features to watch for - i.e. no plate glass windows, hard slippery floors, loose wiring. Before baby you might have said 'no problem, I'll just fix that'... but you now know you'll never get around to it and its a hazard for a small baby!
- Try not to get emotionally attached. I find myself so much more emotional since I had a baby. One house we walked into I could imagine our family in, I started assigning rooms in my head and thinking about how I'd decorate the nursery. While you need to find a house you emotionally connect with, if you get too attached its such a disappointment when you don't get it.
What are your tips for house hunting with a baby? Surely I'm not alone in my house hunting frustrations!