7 Tips for House Shopping with Kids In Tow
I don’t know about you, but most activities with kids seem like organized chaos. Just trying to get out the door making sure all kids have found their shoes and jackets, brushed their teeth, and ate breakfast (without an outfit change), is a small victory. So how are you supposed to make one of your biggest life decisions – a home purchase – with kids in tow? A babysitter may not always be an option. So, here are a few helpful tips we have learned along the way.
- SET UP the showing for success. Let your real estate broker know any special needs or arrangements prior to showing. We can then do our best to accommodate everyone. Is your child allergic to pets? Will loud noises, bright lights or darkness bother your sensory child? Let us help you set the day up for success.
- Plan your showings around NAP schedules. Everyone will be happier. And having children ourselves, we understand how important those naps are.
- Lay the GROUND RULES. Prior to entering the first home, we will kindly explain to the kids that we are entering a guest’s home and ask that they remove their shoes, keep hands to themselves and stay with their parents. Once that door opens, those remarks are usually forgotten. So gentle and kind reminders will be reiterated throughout the home and reoccurring homes. Most likely, they will see things they want to touch. Especially if their is a kid’s room in the home. We find that having their hands occupied will decrease that urge. Have them bring a small toy or book so there hands busy while touring the home.
- Bring plenty of SNACKS for between showings. This ties closely to #1. Happy kids! We will discourage eating in the home, but you and the kids will want to get refueled along the way!
- HEAD OUTSIDE. If it is nice weather and there is a backyard, send the kids outdoors. We have spent many an afternoon in the backyard letting the kids run out energy while we discuss the pros and cons of the property.
- TAG TEAM. As much as you prepare for a perfect day, life happens. Meltdowns, car naps, boredom – your child/ren may be happiest staying in the vehicle with a parent. In which case, we recommend tag team – one parent at a time. If the house is a hit, we can reschedule a second showing where you both can view the home together.
- BE FLEXIBLE. Some days it’s just not happening. And we understand that. Yes, we may have only seen 3 of the 7 homes we wished to see. We can take a break and maybe even reschedule for later in the day or the next.
Your real estate agent should not make your children feel like an inconvenience. If he/she does, find a NEW one!
As realtors with children, we get it. The thought o viewing homes with kids in tow can be a daunting task. And our job is to not only show a home to you, but make the process enjoyable and as smooth as possible. For us, that means our role may be more than home details and stats. It’s helping with kids – whether it be an extra set of eyes, corralling the kids from room to room, or in Ryan’s case a bit of humor to lighten up the mood and keep it fun for all. We may head outside or a different room with your kids, to let you discuss the home with your partner without the distraction. And if schedules allow and both of us are present for a showing, one of us tends to watch the kids more intently so the other can guide you through the home.
Best wishes in your home search. We hope these tips make the process more enjoyable. It is an exciting time as you search for the next home to make your family memories!
This area one of the older, more established areas of town. Audubon and Downriver areas are settled on the Northside of the Spokane River across from Spokane Falls Community College. Many of the neighborhoods were developed in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s which allows for more ranch style construction.
The streets are still lined with mature trees but more conifers than the South Hill maples. Few streets are main arterial and remain quiet with very little cross traffic. Northwest Boulevard runs through the neighborhood and allows ease of access to Central Spokane and the Northside. The neighborhood has its own share of locally owned businesses, restaurants, and coffee houses.
Housing in this area is much more affordable than on the South Hill and Kendall Yards but does not share the immediate access to downtown and the freeway.
Five Mile Prairie
Just to the east of Indian Trail, but almost 400 feet higher in elevation, Five Mile Prairie sits closer to the center of town. Consisting primarily of newer construction (though the occasional farmhouse is seen) Five Mile Prairie offers traditional 2 story homes and ranchers. Open farmland and prairies surround the newer housing developments. Bordering the prairie are beautiful view homes. If so desired, new construction is still being developed in the area offering you the ability to customize your own home.
What is not available on the Prairie? Shopping and restaurants. Though, a short drive away at the base of the Prairie, is the Five Mile Shopping Plaza. Five Mile is conveniently located between Central and North Spokane making it feasible to get to both areas of town in just a short drive.
One of our favorites and centrally located, you can get to many areas of Spokane and neighboring cities with a short drive from Peone Prairie. Though on the Prairie, you are removed from it all. Best known for its sunrise and sunset views, and close proximity to Green Bluff, it is a location desired by many!
Green Bluff is an area known for its farms that are open to the public throughout the year. Head out in the Summer months for fruit picking, and in the fall for pumpkin patches and corn mazes, and wrap up your year cutting down the perfect Christmas tree on the bluff.
Peone Prairie is comprised of mainly acreage properties with large stately homes. There are many working farms, ranches, and horse properties. If you are hoping to build your dream home, many lots are still available for purchase in the area.
While some may enjoy the convenience of being close to the downtown hub, others seek more space and tranquility. Indian Trail sits just North of Francis Avenue on the West Side of town. Almost all the retail and commercial developments are located on Indian Trail Boulevard with housing on both sides. It is truly a “little corner” of Spokane. The architectural styles of the houses vary from ranchers and split levels to more traditional styles.
Unlike the neighborhoods further south, the convenience of location is not based on how close you are to what the city has to offer but what nature offers just outside the city. A short drive brings you to one of Spokane’s most iconic landmarks in “Bowl and Pitcher” at Riverside State Park. The views of the river and hiking surrounding the area are unmatched.
As local Realtors®, we spends a great deal of time exploring different areas of Spokane and its surrounding regions. We put together a list of a few of our favorite neighborhoods to assist you in your search for a home in Spokane.
Whether you are relocating to the area or a long time resident, deciding where to put your roots can be a hard decision. Let’s explore the many locations in Spokane many people call HOME and find the neighborhood that’s right for YOU!
Let’s start with the neighborhood everyone hears about, visits and longs to be in proximity of. Manito is an area all its own. It’s nestled on the South Hill of Spokane and offers unique neighborhoods that can’t be rivaled. From the picturesque park from which the neighborhood garners its name, to the tree lined streets, to the century old houses, Manito is not short on character. Manito Park offers play structures, serene rose gardens, and running trails. The surrounding neighborhoods offer shopping, entertainment, and wonderful dining.Because of the idyllic nature of the neighborhood, housing is highly sought after. For those trying to purchase, values are higher than other areas and inventory does not stay on the market for long. It’s not unusual to get into competitive bidding wars for these charming homes. The neighborhood is self-supporting in its amenities and the lifestyle is difficult to replicate.
One of our favorite areas for new growth and development is the Perry District. While still on the South Hill (just a few miles East of Manito) Perry offers its own unique style and vibe. The retail stores, restaurants, craft breweries, and coffee shops have made Perry District a destination. Like Manito, Perry has become a self-supporting neighborhood. The century old homes offer unique character sometimes not found in new construction. There are also great schools and parks which bring youth to the area. It is only a few minutes to downtown and even a short drive to I-90.
Each time we drive through the Perry District, we notice something new, whether it’s a local business or future development underway. The desirability for homes in the area is still high, but lower valuations, at this point, allow for far more people to compete in the market. We foresee continued development of the Perry District.
Running alongside the Spokane River, with awe inspiring views of the Spokane Falls and Spokane skyline, sits the new development known as Kendall Yards. This neighborhood is the ideal Planned Urban Development (PUD) which seeks to leverage location and amenities. If you are looking for large lots with huge private lawns and secluded privacy, this is NOT the area for you. New developments such as these are community-focused and strive to provide much more than a place to sleep, but more a place to live. The weekly Night Market draws in a great crowd and offers an eclectic blend of street food, local fruits and vegetables, fresh flowers, and goodies from local makers and bakeries.
The housing options are unique themselves in that there are a mix of apartments, condos, townhomes, and stand alone cottage style houses. Most of them are built along the cliff side, with ease of access to the Centennial Trail. Also lined along the trail are restaurants, coffee shops and a children’s park. It’s hard to beat the views, amenities, and proximity to ALL Spokane has to offer.
Newer construction, planned neighborhoods and parks – Eagle Ridge Neighborhood is home to many in Spokane. Due to it’s location, many new to Spokane aren’t aware of this housing development. A drive through the neighborhood will help you quickly realize why this is such a popular development in the area with its well maintained streets, sidewalks, manicured green spaces and parks.
Eagle Ridge offers an array of home styles from rancher to modern design. With the large selection of homes, you can often find homes for sale or build new construction. Since it is only a short drive from downtown it maintains a great desirability but lacks any of the bustle from city and the I-90 corridor.