Househunting with the whole family

Stacks’ clients are often househunting with the whole family in tow.

It bears repeating that, even if you are househunting with the whole family in mind, selecting a school as the sole basis of your house search can be a dangerous strategy. If your heart is set on one school, you may find that your child doesn’t get in or that the school’s position in the league tables changes. Often, the wisest decision is to select an area that has a raft of good schools, and provides plenty of choice, both state and private, for all different ages. This does then provide you with flexibility, allowing for over- or under-achieving children, changes in the performance of schools, not to mention potential changes in the family fortunes.  See Home or School for more on this debate.

Involving your children in the selection of schools is a minefield, and better heads than ours have plenty of advice on the pros and cons of that particular campaign, but Stacks, from their experience of many years of helping families find their perfect home, can help you navigate the children through the search for the perfect home, whilst not been blown off course yourselves .

  • Very small children (under 5’s) are unlikely to prove awkward as far as the decision making process is concerned. If you’re concerned about how a house move will affect your pre-school children, the good news is that they tend to take a new home completely in their stride, much to the surprise of parents who may have been anticipating tears and upset.
  • Older children may have some very strong ideas about the whats and wheres of a new family home. But remember that they won’t be taking into consideration all the elements that go into an informed decision, so try not to be overly influenced. It’s clearly a mistake to be deflected by children’s overwhelming desire for a swimming pool, or to be located close to a best friend. Their priorities are likely to change fairly rapidly, but your new home needs to meet the whole family’s needs for many years to come – including when they’ve upped and left.
  • Teenagers (and this will come as no surprise) can be the most difficult offspring to accommodate. They may be happy in their current home and have little wish to leave their friends, schools, and environment. A house move away from London can be particularly difficult for this age group, and you may find your decisions are met with a great deal of opposition.

In the first instance, be inclusive in your discussions, explain the reasons for your move, and talk about what and where it is that you are looking. Ask for their input, but explain that whilst you’ll try and accommodate their (reasonable) wishes, there are many other criteria, and some degree of compromise is generally called for when it comes to buying property. Once you’ve established those parameters, conduct the viewing and choosing process without too much more input.

Then leave the kids at home! Taking children on an initial viewing can be a mistake – the chances are they will be fighting over which bedroom they want before you’ve even gotten into the garden. At best, they will distract you from making a sensible assessment of the property; and at worst, they will take either a strong like or dislike to the property that will be based on virtually irrelevant criteria.

If they are too small to cause emotional difficulties for you, it is still better if you can leave them with a friend or relative, the viewing will be much more useful as you do need to be able to concentrate fully on a viewing, not stopping little fingers from touching the delicates. We can be invaluable in this regard, and can arrange reliable childcare, or even bring an extra hand to play games in the car whilst you view if that proves easier.

Once you have found your ideal property, you will need to do a quick 180, and go into sales mode. Figure out what the property has that they will love – whether it’s a big bedroom, a paddock for a pony, a loft that you’ll convert into a playroom/cinema room, or a garden perfect for football. Whatever it is, concentrate on the benefits and get them excited.

For teenagers, location is likely to be even more important than the house itself, so gather as much positive information as you can, enlisting the help of local teenagers if you’re struggling. Depending on their age, sex and interests, you can concentrate on local sporting facilities, live music, cinema, pubs and clubs, and transport facilities.

You can also get children of all ages excited about a move if you offer them incentives such as the chance to choose paint colour for their rooms, or new furniture/furnishings. You really need to hit the buy-in spots, so do plenty of homework, and get them onside before you take them to see what will be their new home.

Stacks are experts at assimilating the input of all members of the family into the search brief. We will ensure that everybody is included, and will research the context of the houses we propose, as well as the physical attributes of the property, to ensure that it meets the brief in terms of community and amenities, not just the number of rooms or décor.

We will provide information on the availability of schools, pre-schools, clubs and activities, and help you ‘sell’ your choice to the kids as well.

For more on the glories of living in your chosen area, see our Local Office pages.

For more on how a Buying Agent can help you find your next family home, click here.

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"You were able, by taking on much of the responsibility and the effort, to enable us to relax and enjoy the process"
2018-11-21T13:21:20+00:00
"You were able, by taking on much of the responsibility and the effort, to enable us to relax and enjoy the process"
"utterly tenacious..."
2018-11-21T13:06:52+00:00
"utterly tenacious..."
"...negotiate on anything"

Financial Times

2018-11-06T14:00:36+00:00

Financial Times

"...negotiate on anything"
"great value to us during a difficult, competitive purchase"
2018-11-21T12:39:48+00:00
"great value to us during a difficult, competitive purchase"
"They've been a close and very helpful part of our discussions with everybody. When you’re new to a town and an area, that’s priceless."
2018-11-21T12:58:19+00:00
"They've been a close and very helpful part of our discussions with everybody. When you’re new to a town and an area, that’s priceless."
"a fantastic job in impossible circumstances"
2018-11-21T12:17:11+00:00
"a fantastic job in impossible circumstances"
"We are delighted with our choice and so are the children."
2018-11-21T13:08:49+00:00
"We are delighted with our choice and so are the children."
"In essence, you are buying your best ally "
2018-11-21T12:47:38+00:00
"In essence, you are buying your best ally "
"Despite other interested parties, Stacks were able to help us secure our preferred property."
2018-11-21T12:32:12+00:00
"Despite other interested parties, Stacks were able to help us secure our preferred property."
"delivered a great service at a reasonable cost"
2018-11-21T12:30:52+00:00
"delivered a great service at a reasonable cost"
"Thank you very much for the professionalism, patience and understanding"
2018-11-21T12:55:04+00:00
"Thank you very much for the professionalism, patience and understanding"
"Would not hesitate to use you again."
2018-11-21T13:16:29+00:00
"Would not hesitate to use you again."
"We love the house and cannot wait to move in and get settled."
2018-11-21T13:10:27+00:00
"We love the house and cannot wait to move in and get settled."
"was fantastic at explaining and helping us with everything that was happening"
2018-11-21T13:07:43+00:00
"was fantastic at explaining and helping us with everything that was happening"
"a calming, guiding presence where nothing was too much trouble"
2018-11-21T12:13:26+00:00
"a calming, guiding presence where nothing was too much trouble"
"Without somebody on the ground asking the right questions on our behalf, finding a home would have been truly impossible."
2018-11-21T13:15:37+00:00
"Without somebody on the ground asking the right questions on our behalf, finding a home would have been truly impossible."
"Practically, I needed someone to do the legwork and the eye-balling"
2018-11-21T12:49:38+00:00
"Practically, I needed someone to do the legwork and the eye-balling"
"found precisely what I was looking for, and even on my request made an offer before I had even seen the property!!"
2018-11-21T12:35:46+00:00
"found precisely what I was looking for, and even on my request made an offer before I had even seen the property!!"
"Well done in taking us to a house we didn’t know we wanted … and then fell in love with!"
2018-11-21T13:14:45+00:00
"Well done in taking us to a house we didn’t know we wanted … and then fell in love with!"
"extremely helpful, knowledgeable and tireless in their efforts to assist us"
2018-11-21T12:33:22+00:00
"extremely helpful, knowledgeable and tireless in their efforts to assist us"
"I’ve seldom had such consistent, wise support in a major life decision, and I can’t emphasize enough how helpful it is."
2018-11-21T12:46:40+00:00
"I’ve seldom had such consistent, wise support in a major life decision, and I can’t emphasize enough how helpful it is."
"You have found us a superb home which we feel fortunate to call our own."
2018-11-21T13:18:39+00:00
"You have found us a superb home which we feel fortunate to call our own."
"You saved me many miles of driving and were very professional"
2018-11-21T13:19:40+00:00
"You saved me many miles of driving and were very professional"
"You have an empathetic approach which, added to your knowledge and wise guidance, has made the whole thing a lot less stressful"
2018-11-21T13:17:15+00:00
"You have an empathetic approach which, added to your knowledge and wise guidance, has made the whole thing a lot less stressful"
“We want to thank you so much for the very professional and sensitive support you have given us in navigating through the various properties we have considered for investment of our small inheritance.”
2018-11-05T22:55:02+00:00
“We want to thank you so much for the very professional and sensitive support you have given us in navigating through the various properties we have considered for investment of our small inheritance.”
"We now own a most suitable house in the position of our dreams thanks to Stacks"
2018-11-21T13:11:13+00:00
"We now own a most suitable house in the position of our dreams thanks to Stacks"
"found us a home in a sought-after area with a high demand for properties and very little on offer"
2018-11-21T12:37:14+00:00
"found us a home in a sought-after area with a high demand for properties and very little on offer"
"Stacks takes great pride in their service, is an expert in their field and above all, demonstrated integrity in all our interaction with them"
2018-11-21T12:54:09+00:00
"Stacks takes great pride in their service, is an expert in their field and above all, demonstrated integrity in all our interaction with them"
"Your advice on how to effectively instruct and motivate our professional team allowed us to complete in one month."
2018-11-21T13:22:31+00:00
"Your advice on how to effectively instruct and motivate our professional team allowed us to complete in one month."
"got our offer accepted even when it was not the highest"
2018-11-21T12:38:34+00:00
"got our offer accepted even when it was not the highest"
"It made a potentially very stressful process very straightforward"
2018-11-21T12:48:37+00:00
"It made a potentially very stressful process very straightforward"
"How extraordinary to have found what we were looking for"
2018-11-21T12:42:07+00:00
"How extraordinary to have found what we were looking for"
"You have exceeded our expectations for a buy-side property service and have made the process a smooth one for us."
2018-11-21T13:18:01+00:00
"You have exceeded our expectations for a buy-side property service and have made the process a smooth one for us."
"The house is ideal ... and it is nothing like our first (unsuitable) ideas!"
2018-11-21T12:56:37+00:00
"The house is ideal ... and it is nothing like our first (unsuitable) ideas!"
"carried out with discretion"
2018-11-21T12:28:29+00:00
"carried out with discretion"
"Being able to 'stand behind' Stacks, whilst they brought their negotiating skills to the fore, took us to another level"
2018-11-21T12:22:38+00:00
"Being able to 'stand behind' Stacks, whilst they brought their negotiating skills to the fore, took us to another level"
"The best decision we could have made!"
2018-11-21T12:55:52+00:00
"The best decision we could have made!"
"I gained a house, setting and location which are right for me"
2018-11-21T12:43:48+00:00
"I gained a house, setting and location which are right for me"
"Through the whole process they went above and beyond, and it was worth every penny!"
2018-11-21T12:59:15+00:00
"Through the whole process they went above and beyond, and it was worth every penny!"
"We were in a tricky housing situation, looking to buy a very specific type of house and needing to find it in a very specific time frame"
2018-11-21T13:12:00+00:00
"We were in a tricky housing situation, looking to buy a very specific type of house and needing to find it in a very specific time frame"
"...took just days to come up with the property that fitted all our criteria"

Sunday Telegraph

2018-11-06T13:59:47+00:00

Sunday Telegraph

"...took just days to come up with the property that fitted all our criteria"
"Should I move again, I shall definitely use you again"
2018-11-21T12:51:23+00:00
"Should I move again, I shall definitely use you again"
"Stacks has been an invaluable source of experience and wisdom on the successful landing of just the right house"
2018-11-21T12:53:20+00:00
"Stacks has been an invaluable source of experience and wisdom on the successful landing of just the right house"
"Stacks had the critical combination of expertise and tenacity to broker a solution for us"
2018-11-21T12:52:31+00:00
"Stacks had the critical combination of expertise and tenacity to broker a solution for us"
"I needed the continuous advice and support on the many issues that can and do arise, and, above all, someone acting in one’s own interest."
2018-11-21T12:44:59+00:00
"I needed the continuous advice and support on the many issues that can and do arise, and, above all, someone acting in one’s own interest."
"Because I had invested in the process of working with a Buying Agent, I had the confidence to go ahead"
2018-11-21T12:21:23+00:00
"Because I had invested in the process of working with a Buying Agent, I had the confidence to go ahead"
"always courteous and pleasant, and most importantly, in our opinion, trustworthy."
2018-11-21T12:19:57+00:00
"always courteous and pleasant, and most importantly, in our opinion, trustworthy."
"You we able to give us confidence that we were doing the right thing"
2018-11-21T13:20:39+00:00
"You we able to give us confidence that we were doing the right thing"
"We would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending them to anyone thinking of using such a service"
2018-11-21T13:13:46+00:00
"We would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending them to anyone thinking of using such a service"
"I completely underestimated how much of a difference you would make"
2018-11-21T12:43:03+00:00
"I completely underestimated how much of a difference you would make"
"Relentlessly provided us with the context and facts we needed to make an informed decision "
2018-11-21T12:50:28+00:00
"Relentlessly provided us with the context and facts we needed to make an informed decision "
"We cannot imagine how long it would have taken us to find our perfect home without Stacks – and we suspect that we would have compromised a long time ago!"
2018-11-21T13:09:36+00:00
"We cannot imagine how long it would have taken us to find our perfect home without Stacks – and we suspect that we would have compromised a long time ago!"
"I would recommend using Stacks as they are well connected to the property market and provide a realistic assessment of activity and pricing."
2018-11-21T12:45:49+00:00
"I would recommend using Stacks as they are well connected to the property market and provide a realistic assessment of activity and pricing."
"helped our parents downsize from the family home, in what was a traumatic move for them"
2018-11-21T12:41:04+00:00
"helped our parents downsize from the family home, in what was a traumatic move for them"
"They didn’t try to persuade us to buy anything unsuitable."
2018-11-21T12:57:31+00:00
"They didn’t try to persuade us to buy anything unsuitable."
"We were moving country – had booked the packers – and had nowhere to move into!"
2018-11-21T13:12:46+00:00
"We were moving country – had booked the packers – and had nowhere to move into!"