Finding the right property is particularly stressful for families with children under the age of 18, and choosing the neighborhood carefully is critical to their home search, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2019 Moving With Kids survey, based on responses from more than 7,000 consumers.
The two characteristics that buyers say they weigh the most when deciding on a neighborhood are the quality of the school districts and the proximity to schools, according to the study. “Parents inherently make sacrifices for their children and family, and it’s no different when shopping for a home,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Of course, affordability is a part of the decision, but we have seen buyers with kids willing to spend a little more in order to land a home in a better school zone or district.”
Buyers with young children may also have different preferences when it comes to working with their real estate agent. For example, buyers with children prefer that their real estate agent communicate via text message—more so than buyers without children under the age of 18. Additional findings from the report:
Child care expenses delayed home purchases for parents. Twenty-six percent of buyers surveyed say that child care expenses delayed their home purchase. They also had to make compromises on the home they ultimately purchased due to child care expenses, including the condition and size of the property, price, lot size, and architectural style.
Buyers with children tend to buy larger homes. The majority of these buyers purchased a detached single-family home. On average, buyers with children purchased a 2,110-square-foot home with four bedrooms and two full bathrooms.
Families with young children tended to need to sell their homes quickly. Twenty-three percent of consumers with children under the age of 18 sold their home “very urgently,” and 46% say they had to sell “somewhat urgently.” Sellers with children sold their previous for reasons such as the home was too small (25%), job relocation (19%), or a change in family situation (13%). “When buying or selling a home, exercising patience is beneficial, but in some cases—such as facing an upcoming school year or the outgrowing of a home—sellers find themselves rushed and forced to accept a less-than-ideal offer,” Yun says.