Would you let your children influence your real estate decisions? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-13-2010, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our house is for sale. It's listed fairly for what it is but still, it is not a small number by any means.

We've had 4 interested parties say yes they LOVED the house, but had to see what their kids thought. We're talking teenagers. So they come back with their teenagers and then tell the brokers well, one or more of my kids didn't like x,y,z so maybe we'll keep looking. And the things the kids didn't like? The color of the kitchen, the size of "their" room, one kid apparently thought the house wasn't "green" enough. (FYI- it's a 1923 colonial with lots of period details including original 9 pane windows)

Now I love my kid(s)- pregnant with #2- but when it comes to spending $$$$$$ on a house I believe my husband and I would be the ones making the decision. ** I need to specify that I'm not talking about house hunting with your children's interests in mind- I think that's great and what most families do, ourselves included. OF COURSE I want and would use their input- to an extent- but I also feel that a 14 or 16 yr old lacks the ability to understand long term financial investments and decisions. I would not turn down a smart-buy property if one of my children didn't like the view from "their room" or something along those lines.

And also- these are teenagers- who will be going to college shortly and then most likely moving out on their own. It would be the parents who will need to love the house becasue they are the ones who will be living in it!!!

Feeling a little bummed that teenagers' opinions are standing in the way of getting our house sold!
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:27 PM
 
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If my teen had a serious objection to a proposed home then I think I'd listen and take it into consideration. The color of a kitchen is not a serious consideration since changing it is as easy as picking up a paintbrush. The size of a room, as long as it's reasonable sized is slightly more serious, but nowhere near a deal breaker.

I'm sorry you're frustrated. I would be too.

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Old 05-13-2010, 07:44 PM
 
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I probably would. But, my child is smart enough to look past the kitchen color.

If the school was too far away, or her friends were in the next town, or her bedroom was pretty horrible.... I would absolutely consider those things. I wouldn't even look at a home in a neighborhood unless I researched the schools.

I do buy homes with mostly my child in mind. Heck, with this last house, we picked a house that the dogs would like.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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Sure. The decision affects her as much as it does us.

As NC said, dd wouldn't be thinking about the paint color, though. She would consider the same aspects I would, I think, and come to the discussion with a unique perspective. Her opinion matters as much as ours.

Now, if it somehow significantly affected our financial situation, I think she'd also be reasonable and compromise. But I would also try to compromise to try to make the new place meet her needs, too.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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Anyone here every watch House Hunters on HGTV? There are a lot of adults who decide not to buy a house because of paint colors...

Stacey teaching teens to read & write... Daddy plays ska, DD1 (7/05) loves trees & princesses, & DD2 (3/10) loves mommy-milk! Please get your kids tested for lead.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think valid complaints such as being uprooted from a town/school they love or living in a completely different type of area (such as rural to city) might be more reasonable. But these are local people. I've got brokers coming back to us with very silly and immature objections from teenagers. And the parents are apparently listening.

We really want to move and this is eating at me.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:08 PM
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Based on the examples that you gave, no I wouldn't let them influence my decision (unless the bedroom size discrepancy is huge, then it might carry some weight. Once I got done telling them about my bedroom with the closet that was turned into a bathroom when indoor plumbing became the rage and my brother's room that barely fit his bed. )

I would however, take into consideration their feelings and thoughts about leaving their friends or school behind, but that doesn't sound like a problem in your case.


Having said all that, we may be moving within the next year or so and yes, my kids will have some influence over our decisions. They would be 5 and 7 at that time though and the influence they would have would be for us to look for homes in a really good school district and in an area with amenities that they would enjoy.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:23 PM
 
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I absolutely would consider the opinions of my children. It is their house also, even if they will spend part of the year at college or whatever. Choosing a house is a compromise all around, so I don't know that I would let their issues be dealbreakers if everything else was perfect but we would discuss the situation.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:03 PM
 
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I wonder if those are just the reasons that they gave to the realtor, and they have nothing to do with the real reason they don't like your house?

We tried to sell our house a couple of years ago. It was on the market for a year, and we showed it about 75+ times. We got reasons that it didn't sell that were things like, "well, the front porch has a brick that is loose" (it was an extra brick sitting there, to hide the key thing from the realtor) and "the garage smells like gas" (um, yeah, cause you looked at it just after we had mowed the grass, and the mower stays in there ).

After a while, we figured that some of the realtors and/or prospective buyers will say anything, no matter how bizarre. We took it all with a grain of salt.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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Wow, Betsy.

As for letting my kids influence my house purchase...yes and no. We just bought a house and the kids were mad at first because they don't each have their own rooms-but that wasn't a goal to begin with and it would have cost us $100k more around here to find a house with enough bedrooms! So my decision overrides that one.

If it's a valid concern like location, etc. then maybe but as for them not liking the color/room/whatever...no. They don't have to live here forever and I'm paying thousands and thousands for a house that will be my responsibility. Not to mention finding something in our price range with our requirements (which are all there because of the kids to begin with-yard, # of bedrooms, bathrooms, things I know they want/need/will make our lives easier as a family). I can't imagine having found a great house and letting my kids talk me out of it, but I don't think I would want the house very much if I let my 5 yo make that decision for me.

Of course we've lived some pretty terrible places so that we can keep our pets, so by the time we bought a house, provided it had walls and a yard, my kids were thrilled just to not have to move in 6 months!

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Old 05-13-2010, 10:26 PM
 
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I guess I'm just a mean mom, because my kids' opinions on the color of the kitchen or the size of what their bedroom is doesn't mean squat to me. My dh and I pay the mortgage, so therefore we get to make the decision on what house we live in. It's that simple.

But then again, my kids wouldn't even be house-hunting with us. We would never dream of bringing our kids along when we're looking at houses. I want to be able to concentrate on looking at houses, not kids.

The people on House Hunters who whine about wall color drive me batty. I frequently say to the TV, "It's just PAINT, people!!"
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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To a point, yes.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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sure if they're planning on paying part of the mortgage.

I may take their opinion into consideration if it was a real concern, but size of bedroom, not being green enough, or paint colours are not real concerns.

When we look, dh & I go first. If we like the house we'll have another look through with the kids but not for them to make the decision.

Now if these are soon to be college kids & I was buying the house FOR them to live in while going to university/college, then YES their input would have alot of weight in the decision.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:07 PM
 
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My mom and dad actually bought their house for the amount my sister suggested, this was when she was only 10 years old. So yeah I'd try to include my children's thoughts on a place that was going to be ours. But as far as the situations you are describing, perhaps the kids were just a scapegoat when they decided that they were not as in love with the house as they first thought.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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ummmm... no. i would never let any of my children's opinions influence such a big decision. if hubby and i loved a house and could afford it, the kids would just have to deal with it, whether they liked it or not.

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Old 05-13-2010, 11:39 PM
 
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If the kids' opinions matter that much, bring them along in the first place. OMG, teens. Who will live in the house for HOW long? Tell mr/miss whiny pants to pant the kitchen if it bothers him/her that much.

Yeesh.
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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Actually, yes - I took my kids opinions into consideration when I bought this house. They were... 8 & 10? We were making our final move until they were both through HS, so darned straight I was taking their thoughts into account. I narrowed the choices down, then we saw the houses together, visited the schools, checked out the areas and what was around them, etc.

And I'd applaud the teen who objected on the house not being "green" enough! Yeah - it's a "period" house. Well... some find environmentally friendly more important than period. I have to respect the kid for it. IN all honesty - I'd likely not be interested because all those windows usually = higher energy bills. Not going there these days.
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:43 AM
 
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And I'd applaud the teen who objected on the house not being "green" enough! Yeah - it's a "period" house. Well... some find environmentally friendly more important than period. I have to respect the kid for it. IN all honesty - I'd likely not be interested because all those windows usually = higher energy bills. Not going there these days.
I don't respect his parents though. They didn't take time to talk with their kid at all before going to view houses. Kitchen color, room size, those things you can't tell without the kid looking, but green can be checked with a series of worksheets.
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:43 AM
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I wouldn't, especially over silly things like that.

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Old 05-14-2010, 12:55 AM
 
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My mom and dad actually bought their house for the amount my sister suggested, this was when she was only 10 years old. So yeah I'd try to include my children's thoughts on a place that was going to be ours. But as far as the situations you are describing, perhaps the kids were just a scapegoat when they decided that they were not as in love with the house as they first thought.
This is what I think might have happened.

I would include my kids. I'd have to decide on a case-by-case basis how much weight their opinion had. Also, if we were looking at two houses that day and we all agreed we liked house A best, even if I didn't agree with their reasons for not liking house B, we'd still choose house A.
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:57 AM
 
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We took our kids with us when we looked at houses, and yes, we did take their opinions into account. I want the kids at feel "at home" in our house, just like dh and I want it to feel right to us.

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Old 05-14-2010, 01:00 AM
 
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My parents always got our opinions on the places we were moving into within reason and they were the very controlling types. They narrowed it down to the houses in the area they wanted that were in their price range then let us help make the final decisions. I think it was a wonderful thing to do because it was a decision that affected all of us. I remember as children our biggest concerns were the size of our rooms and whether one was bigger than another. That may mean nothing to an adult, but kids don't have much and it means a lot to kids. From the experience I have with siblings visiting in my home I would have to say that I would definitely want to have some buy in from the kids for my sanity, just giving one sibling a single m&m more can start a fight so just imagine what a room would do.
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:04 AM
 
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I don't respect his parents though. They didn't take time to talk with their kid at all before going to view houses. Kitchen color, room size, those things you can't tell without the kid looking, but green can be checked with a series of worksheets.
Do we know that the parents didn't talk to their kids?
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:36 AM
 
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When we were hunting for our first house, there were *several* that we looked at more than once. One or two, we finally decided to put a bid on, only to find that there was already a bid going on. Even the house we eventually bought, we saw with our realtor at least twice.

When we moved, there's only about one house that we looked at more than once. We were looking for some difficult design considerations like accessibility, so that eliminated a lot.

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Old 05-14-2010, 09:05 AM
 
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No, my kids' opinions wouldn't matter to me at all. They are kids, they aren't paying the mortgage, and a house is a major investment. Kids tend to be reactionary about changes of this nature. They have no sense of the value of real estate or resale value.

I suspect that these people are using this as an excuse more than anything. Sometimes it's hard to come up with tactful reasons for why you don't like a house.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:39 AM
 
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We took our 3yo with us when we did the first viewing of the houses we saw when looking for this one, mainly because seeing obvious dangers is much easier for me if she's there with me (like the one with 8 concrete steps onto the concrete patio, no railing and a clause in the deeds about not altering that - uh, no thanks! lol.

But we didn't take her to the second viewing and we didn't take her opinion into account, and i would only do so if she was ACTUALLY going to be paying the mortgage from the get-go - not "one day i'll have a job and pay digs towards the household costs" but "i was left £10000 by grandma and want to put it into this house". In all honesty if they don't like the kitchen colour or room size they can do well at school, get a great job, and buy their own house that they like.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:43 AM
 
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I'd probably ask for their opinion with the understanding that their dad and I still have final say. They may point things out that we hadn't thought of, ya know.

Mostly though, having them around will influence my decision enough, I think. We're thinking of moving next year sometime. So, when looking at houses, I definitely consider my daughter's (and future children's) needs, including what her needs will be when she's a teen. That includes things like bedroom size for her and space for privacy, etc.

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Old 05-14-2010, 01:20 PM
 
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WE would take his opinion in stride. It would be a family discussion (within reason). I would want him to be happy with his new room etc. When we moved last spring from an apartment to a house (Still renting) DS was with us. At 2.5 sure he didn't a lot of input but we wanted him to see the potential of the backyard and see his new room. He loved it all and we were happy that he was happy.

If concerns were not structural but surface like paint, I would ask for suggestions of colours and ideas. My guess is that if the teens were part of the decision process then they were part of it from the beginning. After all...sure they may be off to college in a couple years but they still want a home to come back to.

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Old 05-14-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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We took our 3yo with us when we did the first viewing of the houses we saw when looking for this one, mainly because seeing obvious dangers is much easier for me if she's there with me (like the one with 8 concrete steps onto the concrete patio, no railing and a clause in the deeds about not altering that - uh, no thanks! lol.

But we didn't take her to the second viewing and we didn't take her opinion into account, and i would only do so if she was ACTUALLY going to be paying the mortgage from the get-go - not "one day i'll have a job and pay digs towards the household costs" but "i was left £10000 by grandma and want to put it into this house". In all honesty if they don't like the kitchen colour or room size they can do well at school, get a great job, and buy their own house that they like.
You know, I dont' actually make any money, it's only money from my husband's job that goes toward our mortgage, and yet I expect a say in that kind of thing. I don't think who is paying for it is the issue. My husband's salary is our family's income and money.
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Old 05-14-2010, 02:19 PM
 
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You know, I dont' actually make any money, it's only money from my husband's job that goes toward our mortgage, and yet I expect a say in that kind of thing. I don't think who is paying for it is the issue. My husband's salary is our family's income and money.
If other people want to consult their children, that's with me. But I'm not following your logic.

Is the house in your husband's name only or is your name on the mortgage and the deed as well? Are your children's names?
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