It all started on visiting day many years ago at Camp Morasha. From the time our car turned off of 17 North onto the winding mountain roads of Hancock, New York, the pit in my stomach was slowly increasing in size. Our daughter, who at the time was 12, was about to get some big news. We parked our car in a huge open field and when I just couldn’t wait any longer for the shuttle van, I tugged at my husband’s arm and we began the trek to girls’ campus.
After bumping into countless old friends and having my brain flood with one memory after another, we finally spread out our blanket and I promptly took out my daughter’s favorite tuna sandwich. I took a deep breath and said: “We have some big news to tell you!” Without missing a beat my daughter jumped in and said, “Oh my gosh—you’re having a baby!”
I immediately began laughing as we had set her up for this incorrect guess and softly responded: “No, not as dramatic as that, but we found a beautiful home in a different part of the neighborhood and will be moving shortly after you get back from camp.”
There were no questions of whether she would have her own room (yes) or if she would have a private bathroom (no). She waited a few moments and asked, “Do I have any friends that live nearby?”
While the summer season is sometimes a slower period for deal making, the market in this area really “moves” throughout all four seasons. And so this question of parents buying a home without the kids ever seeing it, given that many children attend a two month summer program, gets about as varied an answer as other parenting questions, e.g. how much screen time is good for your kid?
I once had a mother insist that her teenage daughter catch a ride to New Jersey on her day off so that she could give her stamp of approval on the new family home before the parents (my buyers) officially went into contract.
This coming summer, most camps have done away with visiting day so buy at your own risk!
P.S. You can always tell your children that until they help with the mortgage payments you can sign a contract without their consent.
Nechama Polak is the broker of record and owner of V and N Group LLC located at 1401 Palisade Ave in Teaneck. [email protected] 201 826 8809.