Thursday, April 17, 2008

Home Shopping with Teens—Get Ready. They WILL Voice their Opinions!

It is a great time to buy a home in Minnesota. As a Realtor working in the north Twin Cities metro, I see awesome homes at great prices coming on the market everyday. There is an abundance of homes in the $300,000 plus category from Ham Lake to Forest Lake and everywhere in between. Whether you want a two story on acreage or a rambler with lakeshore there is something for everyone. And people are able to negotiate some very attractive deals. So as a family we started thinking, this might be time to make a move.

Now the last time we relocated, the kids were toddlers and offered very little opinions on the homes we looked at. As long as we assured them that their Little Tikes, Hot Wheels and Duplos were coming, the house was just a box to keep the playthings in.

Flash forward to today and we have an entirely different situation. Our young adults who are usually in a music-induced stupor and non-talkative when it comes to family outings, take the earbuds out and fully participate in the discussion of possible new houses.

Here’s an example of one such conversation with my teenager…

“There it is up there. It looks very nice. Nice lot. Interesting design.”

“You mean that big ugly GREEN house?”

“That’s just the siding color. It is beautiful inside. I have seen the photos!”

“But it is GREEN!”

“So you live on the inside of the home.”

“Look at all the other homes in the neighborhood. They are tan. We are going to be the house that everyone uses as a landmark, you know, ‘turn right at the ugly green house’!

“It’s not ugly green. It is a very lovely sage green”

“Mom, I don’t know what sage is but I if it is anything similar to the color of puke, I would agree!”

Okay…so my husband didn’t like the wetland so near to the home so the lovely sage green house is out. We will continue to look. But my experience with young adults tagging along and voice opinions is not limited to my own kids. Several of my clients have had young adult children accompany them on house shopping excursions lately. Some of their voiced wants, needs and demands are priceless:

  • “You are not seriously considering moving us to this dump are you?”
  • “I vote for the home with the swimming pool!”
  • “It’s in the middle of NOWHERE!”
  • “This one is great! We can build the wet bar here and put the pool table there.”
  • “So why can’t we have the big bedroom with the walk-in closet and private bathroom? It makes sense if you are going to make us share a room.”

And if you think watching a toddler at a home showing is tough, try an inquisitive teenager.

  • “I wasn’t touching anything. I just opened the door of the clock to see how it works!”

Most families want their teenagers and young adult children to be onboard with the move. If the kids are not working with the parents, passive aggression could rise to the surface. Bedrooms will never be cleaned when there is a showing on your existing home. Dishes will be left in the kitchen sink and dirty towels on the bathroom floor of your perfectly staged home.

I understand that every family has to negotiate and find middle ground. But parents have to remind the kids who will be signing the purchase agreement and making the payments on the new home. The parents have the final decision on the house.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that we parents won’t hear our young adults’ opinions loud and clear—but as we are changing a world that they believe revolves around them, that’s to be expected. Right?

If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota (with or without teenagers) and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2008 Teri Eckholm