Buying and moving into a new home is already a complicated process, but moving with children adds an entirely different set of requirements and stresses. The National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Moving with Kids report explores the unique needs of homebuyers and sellers with children under 18.
“Buying a house is rarely just a financial transaction, especially when children are involved,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation realtor from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty. “Parents are choosing the home they will raise their kids in, the schools their sons and daughters will attend and the neighborhood where they will play and make friends. Realtors help buyers navigate every emotional and financial factor to ensure families find their dream home.”
When choosing a home, buyers with children tend to purchase larger homes than their child free counterparts. The average buyer with children under 18 purchases a 2,100-square-foot home with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, while the average buyer with no children chooses a 1,750-square-foot home with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Both groups prefer a single-family, detached house.
Unsurprisingly, schools play a critical factor in the purchasing decisions of buyers with children. Fifty percent of buyers with children say the quality of a neighborhood’s school district is important, compared to 11 percent of buyers without children. Convenience and proximity to schools is also a crucial consideration to buyers with children, with 45 percent saying it is important factor. Just six percent of buyers without children agreed.
More than a quarter of all buyers with children, 27 percent, said childcare expenses delayed the process of buying a home. Those expenses also have an impact on the buying process, forcing buyers with children to make compromises on the house they purchase. Thirty percent of these buyers compromised on the size of their home, 29 percent compromised on the price of the home and 22 percent on the condition of the home.
Buyers with and without children equally relied on the help of an agent during the home buying process, with 87 percent of all buyers purchasing their home through a real estate agent.
When it comes to selling a home, 24 percent of those with children choose to sell because their house is too small. Only 8 percent of people without children at home sold their house for the same reason. This is further demonstrated when sellers were asked what they want most from their agent. Sellers with children want their agents to sell their home within a specific timeframe (22 percent), more so than sellers without children (20 percent). However, sellers both with and without children expect their agents to provide a broad range of services and manage most aspects of their home sale, 80 and 79 percent respectively.
For sellers with children, urgent is the word that most often describes their selling situation: 26 percent of sellers with children qualified their need to sell as ‘very urgently’ and needed to sell their home as quickly as possible. Compare that to only 14 percent of sellers without children.
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