Fun For The Entire Family

You’ve spent a ton of time getting ready for this big step. Hours and hours scouring the 1001 internet sites pertaining to Real Estate and home buying. You’ve been to Borders and bought books. You’ve talked about this with friends, co workers and your parents until you’re blue in the face. You search multiple online listing sites like MLSlistings, Trulia and Zip just to make sure you’re not really missing anything and what’s really amazing…you’ve entered into a relationship with a Realtor! After months of looking and several sleepless nights the time has come, you’ve made an offer and you’ve ratified! You did it…you bought your first home!!

Now comes the really scary part…bringing your family over to see it! Naturally they want too…after all, they’re helping with the down payment. It’s just that…you know they’ll be critical! Even if your parents are out of state you still don’t get a break, in fact, it may be worse! When we bought our first house in 1999 my Mom gave us $10,000 toward our down payment and she lived in Colorado. Here’s the way the conversation went:

Me: Hi Mom, well we finally did it, we bought a house! It’s a really adorable little 2 bedroom, 1 bath place with a terrific view…I think you’ll love it!

Mom: That’s great, honey…how much was it?

Me: Well…we got it for $412,000. I think we did really well.

Mom: (dead silence)

Me: Mom…are you there?

Mom: $412,000!!! Why, do you know that you could buy the Governor’s Mansion here for $412,000? It’s got how many bedrooms?

Here’s the concept…Even though (in her mind) every body else was paying $65,000 for their 2 bedroom, 1 bath houses, she figured I went ahead and paid $412,000…just cause I’m impulsive or something. Needless to say, we worked things out…and she loved the house.

I’ve lost count of how many parent/family visits I’ve been a part of. 99% of them have turned out fine. For parents I think it’s very important to remember that buying a home is comparison shopping. If they’re not kept in the loop, when they see the house for the first time they don’t have the ability to compare it to all of the other places their kids have seen and sometimes get nervous about the inevitable flaws that exist in every house. For buyers, I think it’s a very important thing to keep the families close to the process, send them links to the homes that look interesting and discuss pertinent disclosure info with them. Often, family members really do have the ability to see things that the kids overlook.

Honestly, I’m serious about the title of this post. I do believe that the home buying process can, and should be fun for the entire family. When everyone works together as a team…that’s exactly what happens.


  1. That’s so funny! We went through the same thing with my parents who live out of state too! They really couldn’t believe how much home prices were in the Bay Area. Thanks for the post

  2. Jim, What an excellent post! I hope you get featured for it. Believing in the family opinion counts is so important for our buyers. You did a fine job showing how it can and does work.

    It’s a Good Life!


  3. Thanks you guys. For the uninitiated, this post also appears at a site called which is sort of a realtor version of blog catalog or technorati. They get thousands of posts a day and feature some of them. FYI.

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