Moving can be a bummer for kids and families. Here are eight great tips to help ease the process of packing up.

By Karen Eubank
Special Contributor

Moving can be a traumatic time in the life of any child. Leaving the home they’ve grown up in or have important memories of, to head off for something unknown, is always tricky. House showings can be particularly stressful. Turning your home selling process into an adventure takes a little planning and some creative solutions. Here are a few tips that have worked wonders with kids who are reluctant to move or just a bit sad about change.

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We’ve been talking about this trend for some time, but thanks to the business-friendly environment Great State of Texas and our fantastic job market, more people are moving to our state from areas where there are fewer jobs and houses cost a whole lot more.

And of course, when more people relocate to Texas, that means more real estate clients. A total of 138,057 new clients according to the statistics from the Texas Association of Realtors’ “Texas Relocation Report.”

The report, which uses data from 2013 American Community Survey, the 2008-2012 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as the U-Haul 2013 National Migration Trend Reports shows that Texas is outpacing Florida, California, Georgia, and North Carolina in the number of people moving from out of state.

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Jane and Daniel Cheek

Jane and Daniel Cheek with sons Ike (1) and Abe (3). (Photo: Maryam Salassi)

I got to know Jane Cheek and her cute little boy, Abe, when she was teaching a toddler art class in East Dallas a little over a year ago. This talented stay-at-home-mom, a former art teacher, came up with the cutest ideas for crafts for our little buggers. When she and her husband, Daniel, bought a home up in Royal Highlands Village, I adored watching her transform their three-bedroom semi-detached into a gorgeous property. She managed to do it just months after having her second little boy, Ike, too.

Now with two boys and another bun in the oven, Jane and Daniel Cheek are moving back to their hometown of Raleigh, N.C. Our loss was some other homebuyer’s gain, as their adorable home was snapped up in a matter of days, all due to the brilliant marketing of Keller Williams Elite agent Vicki White.

Read on for their real estate story …

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Millennial Homebuyers

Millennial Homebuyers are missing from the market, but Austin and Dallas may be better values first-time homebuyers in this generation over San Antonio and Houston.

Where are all the first-time homebuyers? In their cozy rentals, that’s where!

With a market almost completely devoid of newby buyers, and the rental market being as competitive as it is (just ask my friend looking for a single-family home in East Dallas!), and prices going up across all segments, it’s just hard to find a place to put your leather couch and Le Creuset stock pot. Millennials hold a lot of potential when it comes to real estate purchases, but where can the find the best value? Is it San Antonio and Houston?

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3747 Duchess Front

Well, Duchess the Saint Bernard, that is! Duchess is a lovely gal who is up for pre-adoption with Dallas Pets Alive while she undergoes heartworm treatment. I’m sure this gorgeous girl who gives the best kisses would love this updated traditional at 3747 Duchess Trail inside Royal Marsh Estates. It is plenty large for a big girl like Duchess! This ranch has a huge backyard for play time and a fantastic bathtub for bathtime.

Duchess

“Duchess was owner surrendered to the Dallas Animal Shelter because she ‘got too big,'” said Cassie Evans, dog rescuer and Duchess’ foster. “Duchess is a gorgeous, pure-bred Saint Bernard with a heart of gold. She likes small dogs, friendly big dogs, cats, and nice kids.”

She sounds just perfect and she’d do so well inside 3747 Duchess Trail! This home is in a wonderful location for any family looking to be close to parks, shopping, and a short drive from downtown Dallas. This particular home, which has all the bells and whistles a family moving to Dallas would want, is marketed by Trophy Group Realtor Matthew Rice for $599,890 and has only been on the market for 27 days.

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Downtown San Antonio’s Dolorosa Bridge as seen from the Riverwalk

I have a few friends that moved to San Antonio after college. One of them is an architect and the other was a medical student. Both were initially bummed about moving to the Alamo City. It was so different from Houston and Austin and Dallas. They weren’t sure they would like it. They didn’t know a lot of people there.

I now see them post cool photos of cycling trips, historic buildings, trips to local watering holes and parks … they either learned to love San Antonio, or they busted their bottom to build the momentum the city needed to be a cool place. And you know what? More and more Millennials are doing the same thing, opting for San Antonio and Houston over Dallas and Austin according to Trulia’s dissection of U.S. Census Bureau surveys.

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7317 Fieldgate Front

This home is a fantastic rental for someone building their dream home and in need of temporary housing, or someone who decided to capitalize in our scorching market and is still looking for the perfect house to move into. And if access and amenities are what you want, you really can’t beat this location.

This is one of those rentals that, when you come across it, you feel like you’ve struck gold! It’s only been on the market for two days, and considering how sought-after the Meadows is, well, I give it a week, max.

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Lance Armstrong Lake Austin

We knew 2013 was a banner year for Dallas Realtors as our market pulled itself up by its bootstraps and posted post-recession growth that amazed even the most seasoned brokers. But according to research from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, the market posted year-over-year numbers that showed Texas flexing its economic muscles like never before.

Numbers are up across most demographics, with condo sales, luxury sales, and investment properties getting snatched up at record paces.

“The Texas real estate market showed strength in sales volume and price all year long and the fourth quarter was no exception,” said Texas Association of Realtors chairman Dan Hatfield. “We’ve now seen year-over-year increases in both sales volume and price every quarter for more than two years. This makes it clear – demand for Texas homes is strong and enduring.”

We agree, as the Texas tech industry continues to boom in Austin, pushing up prices and demand reminiscent of the Bay Area’s unfettered growth. High salaries and limited inventories — the statewide numbers show a precipitous drop to a 3.6-month supply of homes (6.5 is recommended for balance between supply and demand) — have resulted in huge price increases. But, as Candy pointed out, not all growth is good for everyone. As prices increase, housing affordability decreases, pushing out lower wage earners.

But Austin’s growth isn’t isolated, as every metropolitan area in Texas posted sales volume and price increases in the fourth quarter of 2013. According to the report, 60,998 single-family homes were sold in the state during the fourth quarter — 6.78 percent more than fourth quarter 2012. Median home prices increased 8.48 percent from fourth quarter 2012 to $172,600, and the average home price was a whopping $226,216 — up 8.88 percent from Q4 2012.

Real Estate Center economist Jim Gaines Ph.D. explained: “One thing that is notable about the price increases seen in the fourth quarter is that they are relatively consistent across the state. Those increases are being seen in markets of every size, not just in the largest Texas markets, so that indicates broad-based appreciation for Texas real estate.”

“Demand for Texas homes in 2014 should continue, but it’s possible that a shortage of inventory could inhibit sales volumes,” Gaines added. “The steady price increases we’ve seen recently should help alleviate that, enticing more sellers into the market, but buyers should continue to expect to compete for desirable properties.”

Interesting outlook for 2014. What do you think? Will the growth price-wise lure more sellers to the market?