We have too much stuff.
It really is a first world problem. We live in 1300 square feet and we have run out of space to stuff books and toys and other random items that we, of course, can’t get rid of because that would be too easy. So, like any good consumer, we are searching for a larger house to hold all of our stuff. We are fortunately not first-time homebuyers, so we know a little bit about what to expect. But we have never searched for a home with tiny people in tow.
It has become quite the adventure.
For starters, have you seen house prices these days? Talk about sticker shock.
A normal, regular, no frills house here will buy you a mansion in say, Oklahoma.
I strongly recommend that if you are house hunting, you never ever watch House Hunters. It will make you cry.I do recommend Property Brothers though because prices on that show are comparable to ours, and they tell you how to make a fixer-upper look fabulous. That could seriously save you some money in the future.
And when you are looking for that next affordable gem, keep in mind that all the items on your list won’t happen. We have learned that remodels are inevitable, and yards are tiny. We have also learned that floors, walls, windows, and paint can be changed, but location cannot. We also learned that if something is even remotely affordable, there’s a reason (likely because it is by a freeway).
But one of the interesting aspects of house hunting now is that we have to do it with our four-year-old and our nine-month-old along for the ride.
How has this changed things?
Well, for starters, we must go between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. This ensures that there are the fewest amounts of tears possible. Also, everyone must be fed. And it is very important to bring snacks. And maybe even a bribery toy. Also, more than three houses in a day will result in an argument from my four-year-old who will often require bribery to keep going.
It’s also fun to enter another person’s house and have a conversation with my four-year-old about not touching ANYTHING and not running around like a maniac.
We must be a real treat for the wary listing agent who greets us.
We have also found that it helps to tell the four-year-old that there are secret hiding spots in the home and that it’s his job to find them all. This will cause him to run into every closet and yell “you can’t find me” at the top of his lungs. And if there are toys anywhere in sight, he will find them and will cry when we try to leave without them. I want to hug the smart realtor who has cookies at their open house. That was genius.
And you might think that the baby is pretty easy considering she isn’t mobile yet. But inevitably, she will fall asleep on the journey. Which means that when you get to the house you want to see, you will have to carry her in the infant car seat so as not to wake her. Have you tried lugging one of those things around with a 20lb baby in it? It is most definitely not comfortable, and heaven forbid the house has a bunch of stairs. I often resort to just leaving her in a room while we tour the place, and usually the realtor just kind of watches her like she’s a ticking time bomb.
Ultimately, the process this time around is much more stressful, but at least my older child can have an opinion on things and it will be his house too. So we can visualize if the yard is a death trap or not or if there’s a way for me to see him running around from the kitchen.
And thanks to one house that had a secret cave inside the kid’s closet, he now wants every room to have one.
So it really is a family affair.
I look forward to continuing on this journey into the summer when the inventory goes up, and I truly hope we can find a home that all of us can love. For now, it’s time to think about staging our current home and keeping it show-ready with small tornado people around.
To be continued…