Finding the perfect family home with Maïka Desnoyers

Maïka has been a real estate agent since she was 19 and, along with her partner Étienne, have built a loyal online following through their blog Ma famille mon chaos Opens in new window (only in French).

The most frequent question I get from someone purchasing a home is: Maïka, how can I be sure that this house is the right one for me? I often tell clients that they’ll know immediately if that house is made for them. They’ll feel it right away. Buying a house is often just as much an emotional purchase as it is a rational one. Yes, it’s about price, how many bedrooms and bathrooms there are, whether it’s in good shape, or if it has your dream backyard. But it’s also about how it makes you feel.

Everyone should feel at home

Each family member should feel like they can thrive in the new home. That’s why it’s important to make sure that each member of the family has a place to themselves, a place where they can unwind or work on their hobby. If there’s a gym buff in the family, is there a place for their workout equipment? If there’s a crafter, is there a hobby room? Do your kids have an area to play and be active?

Basically, everyone should fall in love with an element of the home, be it a comfy bedroom, a chill living room, or a reading nook! As soon as everyone can imagine living and loving the house, you can be sure it’s the right one for you.

You can always sit down with your family in advance to make a wish list for each person. This will give you a better idea of what to look for when you start house-hunting.

Embrace the search and think long term

Take advantage of your home search to appreciate the good moments you’ve had in your current home while looking to the future. Many say that buying a home is stressful. I’d rather say that it’s a special moment that you share with your family in order to find the place where you’ll build your happiness.

This may very well be the home that you watch your children grow into teenagers and even adults. That’s vital to keep in mind when choosing your home. While you may have a small human or two now, they’ll be much bigger and require more space ten years down the road. Or, if you already have two teens on your hand, you may be empty nesters in a few years and require less space. Think carefully about what your family will look like in the coming years before committing to a new house.

Don’t stress!

While finding a home can be stressful, don’t let it ruin this exciting time in your life. However, if you are having difficulties managing your stress, try to do these two things to help reduce your anxiety:

  • Take a minute to refocus and be mindful
  • Learn how to breathe properly – it will work wonders when you are stressed and anxious

Once you’ve found your new home, it will only get more hectic! To start, check out our moving checklist that Étienne and I wrote to help you prepare. Nothing beats preparation to avoid useless stress. If you know you’ll be moving soon, it’s the perfect time to get rid of useless and superfluous items. You can clear out old toys, furniture, papers, and other stuff that collects over time. If your home is cluttered, you’ll feel closed in and anxious. Once you start packing, make an inventory of whatever is left. That way you’ll have it in case you ever have to make a claim. It’s like getting two jobs done at once!

A new home is a fresh start for everyone in the family and should be exciting rather than scary or stressful. Your emotions, good communication with family members, and a clear mind will help you know when you’ve found your new home.


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