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Moving During The School Year... Can Be A Good Move For Everyone !

Often times around this time of year... when we Realtors find a great home for a buyer that just suits them perfectly, we all start talking about writing an offer.

Perhaps it's because what up til now was just a grey possibility in the future, and finding a nice home brings the decision into the "right here and right now"...  we often hear... "Oh my gosh... it just hit me.  We can't move now... we could NEVER do that to the kids.  We want to wait until the end of the school year.  If we "uprooted the kids"... well... it would just be much too hard on them."

Well... here are some thoughts on that... from a former Junior High School teacher. 

Regardless of when parents decide to move, very often the kids will not be pleased.  They will talk all about leaving their friends behind, about how miserable they will feel in that dreaded "new school"... and how terrible and self-conscious they will feel being 'the new kid in class."

While the fears children have about all those things may certainly be real... the actual move itself is rarely anywhere near that bad.

"Oh Mom, I won't have any friends there.  All the kids at the new school will already be in their little cliques... and they never let new kids in." 

Sound familiar ?  Well, very often the reality is about as opposite as can be.  Let's picture it.  It is January 4th.  Everyone comes back to school after Christmas Break.  (I can use the word "Christmas" because I rarely choose to be "politically correct.")

It is early on the morning of January 4th.  Young Donna and her brother, little Jason have just arrived.  They want to "sneak" into the room... hoping no one sees them.  Everyone, of course... is "staring at them."  Oh so scary!  What often happens at recess or lunch... changes everything ! 

That's because there are also five other kids in their class who are spending their own first day in school that day... and they have the same fears.  What happens at lunch?  Why, they all end up at the same table, and end up just thrilled at finding other "new kids on the block."

Moving during the school year finds your children being able to invite their very best friends from their old school over for weekend sleep-overs... and also invite their brand-new frieds to the sleep-over, too.

Note:  One more negative surprise about waiting for the end of the school year is this: 

Imagine... school is over... it's the end of May.  You pick Donna and Jason up after the end of their last day at their old school, and bring them home to their new neighborhood.  They are excited.  They change into their summer play clothes, and out they go.  Forty Five minutes later... in they come.  "Mom... Mom... I don't have anybody to play with !"  And, there they are... all alone... not knowing anyone in the neighborhood... facing the entire summer... all by themselves.  If they moved during the school year... this would never happen.

Having taught Junior High School for Nine Years, I have seen their frightened faces turn into Happy Faces quicker than you can say "Go Cowboys."  Move by the end of the year !  You get a larger, more spacious home, you get the tax advantages, and your children get to keep their old friends, and make new ones.  It's win-win for everyone !

Comment balloon 18 commentsKaren Anne Stone • January 03 2009 09:28PM

Comments

Karen Anne, you are right about these transitions. Kids are very resilient!

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 10 years ago

Karen Anne, We moved from Colorado to North Caronlina at the beginning of a summer.  It was one of the longest summers of my life as my children didn't know anyone.  When we moved here from North Carolina it was 14 years ago December 23rd.  That was a much better summer as they had met some friends. 

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 10 years ago

Good point. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Jamie Parker Gwinnett, Realtor, Snellville Homes (Exp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Karen Anne - OMG this hits home. I was relocated as a kid. I always adjusted fine. The other kids always made me feel at home and I instantly had friends. Then. in my adult years my husband and I relocated a few times. MY kids adjusted well too, and most of the time they were uprooted in the middle of a school year. But, the biggest mistake we made was postponing a career move until our daughter finished high school as a senior. We could have moved when she was a sophomore or junior but we waited it out and made a 2 year sacrifice on career advancement. And, we waited until the end of the school year. After that, our daughter began college. Never did she come home from college break looking forward to meeting up with old friends. Never was our new home - her home. And, when she finished college 5 years later - she landed a job and settled into familiar territory ...our old community 13 hours away. She is still there, now married and the mother of a 21 month old - and a homeowner now too. What a big mistake that we made by putting off a career move. What a mistake it was to not  move sometime before the end of her senior year.  We planned our last move strategically with her best interest in mind and it backfired. Seems our family is forever seperated now.       

Posted by Carol Culkin, Overland Park (Reece & Nichols) almost 10 years ago

Karen, My parents did that to me, they moved when I was entering high school. The first year was horrific but in my senior year I was student body President. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger...

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Northwest.) almost 10 years ago

Karen Anne:  Great points about a school year move.  A move during the summer would lead to boredom if there weren't kids in within the surrounding homes the same age.  Moving during the school year seems a great opportunity to jump right in and be able to meet the kids you'll be playing with after school.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 10 years ago

Very funny and logical at the same time - I can definitely see you as a teacher, Karen Anne!

Posted by Joanne O'Donnell (Chic Home Interiors) almost 10 years ago

Karen - I went all through school without having to make a move.  So that part of my life was unscathed.  I had thought more about the move issue recently, with Obama's daughters now beginning school in Washington.  I would think that Summer would be the natural time to move.  Probably second choice would be right after the Christmas holidays, or at the end of the Winter semester.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) almost 10 years ago

Gary:  Kids are much more capable of things we parents are scared silly of for them.  I have found that out personally.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 10 years ago

Marchel:  I am sure you saw a major difference in your two moves.  The poor kids whose parents move them in May... at the end of the school year because they thought they were doing them a favor.  The poor kids... pretty much alone for the full summer.  Not a good plan.  I am glad your move to Spring went better for the kids.  Take care...

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 10 years ago

Jamie:  Yes... as a teacher, I saw it work out time after time.  Middle of the school year is much better for the kids.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 10 years ago

Carol:  I know exactly what you mean.  You thought you were being so careful... just for your daughter's sake.  And... all you did was insure that your daughter had one less reason to come home.  Your "new" home wasn't home to her... her "old" home was... the one you moved away from.  Sometimes it goes that way.  We try and try to be so careful to do the right thing... and it ends up making it worse.  So sorry... take care...

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 10 years ago

Paul:  I bet you just thought your world was going to end when they did that... but obviously they did the right thing... and you got through it just fine.  Take care...

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 10 years ago

Chris Ann:  Exactly.  I wrote a great post about my daughter when we moved to Texas in March of 1982.  I was scared to death she would be alone, and so was she... but she found new friends that very day.  It turned out so much better than I, or both of us, had feared.  Take care...

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 10 years ago

Joanne:  Oh yes... my nine years of teaching seventh and eighth grade.  It was in the Catholic schools in Cleveland.  Degree in Psychology, Philosophy and French, so of course I taught Math, History, Religion and girls phys ed.  That makes sense, doesn't it ?  LOL.  But, it all turned out well.  Take care...

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 10 years ago

Myrl:  Summer time is a really bad time for kids to move... they feel so "stranded" not knowing anybody.  So at Christmas or the end of the Winter semester usually turns out much better.  Take care...

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 10 years ago

Hi Karen Anne... I never thought about this issue from the perspective you describe.  You make great points that I bet many parents have never considered.  Way to go!

Posted by Steve Shatsky almost 10 years ago

Steve:  I try and have at least one good idea a year.  If this post qualifies as a good idea... it means I am caught up to 1984.  Wow... only 25 more good ideas to go until I am current.  Thanks for your kind words.  Take care...

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 10 years ago

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