Saturday, 11 April 2015

On House Hunting - with a baby!

Has anyone else been house hunting with a baby? Its hard work!

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!

xo

24 comments:

  1. I'd be leaving her with the grandparents next weekend if you can! We had to househunt with 2 bored toddlers in tow last year & it was a freaking nightmare!! Good luck x

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    1. I wish we could leave her with someone! But she's still breastfed and doesn't take a bottle. Plus we're living 45mins away from where we are house hunting so I can't pop back in for feedings. I think toddlers would be worse than a baby! Congrats on surviving :)

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  2. Sorry I don't have tips but I do have good vibes that are coming your way - hope you find something you love soon. The very essence of house hunting is stressful, I can imagine that having koala in tow really ups the ante! But it will be totes worth it when you find your forever home!

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    1. Thanks :) It is stressful isnt it! Looking forward to finally finding a house we can really settle into though!

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  3. Yikes I feel your pain! We house hunted for years, literally! We finally bought a house when our sons were 4, 2 and I was about 37 weeks pregnant. We had no one to hang out with the boys. My biggest tip is if you go to an auction, just send one of you along and the other stay with the baby. She will be a distraction and it's better to have one focused bidder with a strict budget to work with. Good luck!

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    1. oh now thats dedication to finding a new house!! Glad you finally got one, but bet you arent planning to do it again for a long time :)

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  4. We took the grand parents when we went house hunting and it helped heaps. Leaving them at home with the grand parents is even better! Looking for your new home really gets those stress levels elevated.

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    1. Love the grandparents! A baby sitter is definitely needed on these outings!

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  5. Great advice! We just bought our first home, no kids yet, and I could imagine that it just adds a whole other level of difficulty and emotions!

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    1. Hopefully you don't have to move once you do have kids. I recommend waiting until they are old enough to carry some boxes :) Congrats on your first home!

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  6. Oh good luck with the house hunting! It can be such a time consuming process. A friend of mine had to house hunt while she had terrible morning sickness the poor thing. Not fun at all. Visiting via #teamIBOT

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    1. It's taking forever to find the right house! Morning sickness and house hunting would be terrible Poor thing :(

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  7. I remember doing it years ago with toddlers and it was hard work! They have no interest in house shopping.
    I hope you find something you love soon. x

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    1. gah toddlers! Yep, there's a reason we are looking for our long term house! I have no desire to move again until our kids are able to help not hinder :)

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  8. For any houses that you are iffy on (online is interesting but not to die for) leave bub in the car with one of you. The other nips in and gets a gut feeling. If the gut says yes/possibly either get bub out or swapsies. If you're going to buy the house you'll request a private showing anyway... Then go in together with bub

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    1. Great tips! I might try that next weekend!

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  9. I feel your pain! We went through this last year....ALL YEAR!

    We hunted for our family home for 12 months. Lots of weekends, lots of open homes and a baby who took it all in her stride. (Thank goodness).

    We finally found our home and moved three days before Christmas last year.

    It's lovely having our Saturdays back and being in our first 'family home'.

    Good luck with your search. The universe will send the right one to you!

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    1. oh gosh, all year!!! I'm worried it will take us that long too! Glad you finally find your home!

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  10. Snap - we just put the SOLD sticker on our house yesterday (exciting) - and now we are on the hunt for a new home! I have a 10 year old daughter and 1 year old son. We have only looked at a couple of houses and they were private viewings - which was a lot better, especially with the kids. I am looking forward to attending more open homes over the next couple of weeks - it is going to be interesting when there is a lot more people involved. New follower :)

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    1. Congratulations!!! We were meant to put the sold sticker on our a couple of days ago but the buyers are stuffing us around a bit. Hopefully this week! Private viewing are definitely better, you can take your time more. Good luck finding your home!

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  11. These are all great tips. We'll start shopping this July with baby in tow!

    Stopping in from Mommy Do It Link Party.

    The Highchair Diaries

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    1. Good luck in your hunt! Its hard work but Im sure its all worth it, right?

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    2. Good luck in your hunt! Its hard work but Im sure its all worth it, right?

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  12. Been there - done that! It's not easy is it! I remember my husband and I taking turns to view the house while the other stayed in the car with a sleeping baby, and taking the baby in the capsule round the house. Hope you are successful soon. Thanks for sharing on the #BlogFairLinkParty at mummydoit.co.nz

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