August 12, 2019
By Alcynna Lloyd
Purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions a person can make during their lifetime. After all, where you live determines many factors about your life, including where you work, worship or even send your children to school.
As back to school season approaches, a recent report from the National Association of Realtors highlights the different purchasing and selling habits of Americans, revealing that a significant share root their home purchasing decisions in school district quality.
“Parents inherently make sacrifices for their children and family, and that is no different when shopping for a home,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said. “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.”
According to the company, the starkest difference between homebuyers that have children under the age of 18 and those who do not, is the influence of the neighborhood.
“The report found that those homebuyers who still have children living in their homes were likely to be drawn to specific neighborhood characteristics,” NAR writes. “For example, 53% of buyers with children considered a neighborhood based on the quality of the school districts within that neighborhood. 50% of buyers with children selected a neighborhood based on its convenience to schools.”
This deeply contrasts the purchasing influences of homebuyers without children as NAR determined that only 10% of childless homebuyers chose a neighborhood based on the quality of its school district. When it came to convenience of schools, only 6% of those buyers claimed it factored into their home buying decision.
Interestingly, in terms of making the final selection on exactly which home to purchase, the company determined that buyers with children and those without shared some common ground.
“More than half of all buyers, regardless of children, said that finding the right property was the most difficult stage in the process,” NAR writes.” During that phase, among the homebuyers with children living in the household, 86% purchased their home with the help of a real estate agent. Similarly, 87% of homebuyers without children enlisted the services of a real estate agent when making their home purchase.”
However, the two groups deeply differed on their home selling urgency, as the report indicates that homebuyers with children are more likely to sell and purchase at a faster pace.
“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 said.
According to the report, 23% of sellers with children reported that they sold their home “very urgently.” However, only 14% of buyers with no children said they had to sell their home quickly.
“One notable difference between the two groups is that 46% of those with children in the home said they had to sell somewhat urgently, while just under half of those with no children in the household said they were able to wait for the right offer,” NAR writes.