It’s a moment you’ve been both looking forward to and dreading at the same time: the day your children move out of the home. While they might leave for college, it never seems that final. However, the day they buy their first apartment or house – that’s when it becomes clear that they’re no longer your little kids. Now, they’re adult enough to have a mortgage and be the owner of their piece of land. It’s not just you who’s going to struggle with it though. Your children – no matter how old they are – will find it tough too. It’s never nice watching your children come up against hardship, so here are a few ways you can make the transition easier for them.
Be around for all the house viewings and inspections
If you’ve owned a couple of homes, you’ll know the process like the back of your hand. You’ll know what to look for in a viewing – things that a first-time buyer probably won’t think about. Your child will be so caught up in the excitement of possibilities and the future, that they might not notice elements like lack of parking, smashed windows in the neighborhood, or a lack of natural light. If you live far away from their intended location, try to stay in the area for a few days, and get as many viewings done in that time as possible. Once you’ve done a couple together, they’ll get an idea of the things they need to be wary of. Plus, once they’ve found somewhere, try to get a copy of the surveyor’s inspection, to check that nothing looks too off-putting.
The contracts and paperwork can be incredibly confusing for someone who’s never bought a house before. So, this is a key place that you can help and give your advice on. You know what a standard contract should include, and whether there are any clauses that they should take up with a lawyer. Plus, it’ll be a big relief for someone else to check over paperwork, if not just to make sure they’ve signed and done everything that they’re meant to. Your child might be too excited to take in much, so if you can take over and ensure that documents are signed, sealed and stamped, you’ll both feel better for it.
Help financially, if you can
While many parents can’t afford to help their children financially, there are definitely some who can. If you’re lucky enough to be in this position, approach the subject with care. You don’t want your child to feel offended, as if you don’t think they’re capable of buying a home. Instead, you want it to come across like an investment for you – as you could say they can pay you back when they sell it, or as a gift for the future for them. Some young adults don’t need financial help, but with rising property prices and stagnant wages, it’s getting harder and harder for young people to buy.
Accept where they want to live
You might have envisioned your children buying homes close to where they grew up or where you live now, but unfortunately, it won’t always work out that way. Maybe their job forces them to pick a certain location, or they want to be near their old college, friends or a partner. Although you’ll be disappointed, don’t let it cloud your judgement of the property. You’ll never be more than a few hours’ drive or flight away, and giving them this freedom and acceptance will make them feel happier too. They probably feel guilty about leaving you, but they’ll be more comfortable knowing you’re on board with it.
Give advice, but know when it’s not wanted
Yes, you only ever have your child’s best interests at heart. However, sometimes you need to accept that they need to make mistakes for themselves. Know when to leave them to make mistakes, and when to step in. You want them to appreciate your help – even if it takes a while for them to realize this.
Get stuck in when it comes to packing and moving
No one enjoys packing and moving, but if you can pack and load efficiently, it’s much easier once you get to the other side. So, help them with the process. This might be anything from bubble wrapping endless ornaments, to lugging suitcases into removal vans – but just being there and being a spare pair of hands will help hugely. Plus, if it means they don’t have to hire professional movers, you’ll save them a lot of money.
Be on hand to help with the hard jobs
Once you’re all packed and moved in, there’s always going to be a few jobs that aren’t pleasant to do. Some, you’ll be able to do yourself, like unblocking plugs and sinks. Others – like pest invasions – you’ll need help with. Depending on where you are, you should get in touch with businesses like Lake Norman Pest Control in Denver NC, and have them come out and get rid of the problem – preferably before your child sees what’s going on!
Don’t overstay your welcome
It’s always going to be hard to say goodbye. This will be the last time they leave your home, never to return in school holidays. It’s going to be emotional, but don’t put it off. As much as they’ll love having you around, they probably want to relax in their new home and get used to being a homeowner. Plus, if they’ve bought the place with their partner or friend, they’ll probably want some time to celebrate and enjoy their first evening in peace. Know when it’s time to leave, and don’t kick up a fuss. Obviously, they might want you to stay for a few days, especially if they’ve moved far away, but don’t force them into offering this.
Recommend services and contacts that they’ll need
Owning your first property is a minefield of new situations and experiences. They’ve never had to deal with a leak, a broken boiler or a ruined carpet. So, share your wisdom. Find services that they might need, like an electrician or plumber, and make sure they come highly recommended. Plus, give them your best cleaning tips, and promise to lend a hand when it’s time to redecorate.