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Teachable Moments: Moving House

As an adult, you’re probably well aware of all the hassle that moving house tends to entail. You know you’re going to spend months viewing properties, scanning over contracts, and juggling buying a new house with trying to sell your old one. It’s likely a situation you’ve been through at least once before, so you know what it’s going to involve.

Your kids, however? They probably have no idea. By the time they’re of an age to understand what’s happening, their first move is going to be an alarming time. They can only remember ever living in one particular place. What happens to move them to another house is a somewhat mystical process, most of which goes over their heads.

This isn’t necessarily the best choice. If your children are of an age to understand what’s happening, then it’s worth seeing moving as a teachable moment. Rather than the process being something your kids have to go along with, but don’t get much information on, it can be a time of learning. There’s so much you can teach them during this time, but perhaps the most useful things to extrapolate are…

#1 – The Basics Of Home Ownership

Teaching your children about the basics of home ownership is a necessary part of your job as a parent, anyway – but what better time to do it than in the midst of a move?

Explain how ownership works. If they’re of an age to understand the math involved, then you can also teach them what a mortgage is. Obviously, you don’t need to delve into hugely complicated legal and economic detail – but a basic overview should suffice.

#2 – The Process Of Moving House

There’s no need to hide what happens to facilitate a house move. The sooner your children are exposed to the way the housing market works, the more time they will have to understand it before it becomes relevant to them. Focus on the basics:

  • How to find homes for sale. While going to real estate agent’s shop windows is the established method, the truth is that your children will probably primarily search for their own properties in future via the online property market, so you’re going to need to cover this.
  • How you go about selling your house and how you choose a price for it.
  • The basics of the legal process of exchanging contracts.
  • How the escrow process works – obviously, only if this is applicable to the move you’re doing.

Most children should be able to grasp at least the basics of the above; you can add or subtract where necessary depending on your child’s age specifically.

#3 – Stress Management

It’s not just financial teachable moments during the house moving process, either. You can also teach about how to handle stress. We all know how tough moving house can be, so showing your children that you’re on top of all the stress – and managing to keep smiling – can be a great practical lesson. Making it a lesson will also force you to cope with the stress better, so both parent and kids will benefit!

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