Monday, July 29, 2019 - by Kim Bass, president, Greater Chattanooga Realtors
It’s hard to believe, but it’s already back-to-school time. As a realtor, every day I see how important schools are to families looking to buy a home. Luckily our area has many outstanding schools, which makes my job easier. It’s easy to show houses to people who are excited about the great schools that their kids will attend.
Buying and moving into a new home is stressful, but moving with school-aged children adds an entirely different set of requirements and stresses.
The unique needs of homebuyers and sellers with children under 18 are explored by the National Association of Realtors in a recently published study, the 2018 Moving With Kids Report.
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.
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.
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.
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 realtor 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.
Buying a house is rarely just a financial transaction, especially when children are involved. Realtors help buyers navigate every emotional and financial factor to ensure families find their dream home.