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NAR ‘Moving With Kids’ research: Focus on schools, service

Sellers with kids need to move more urgently, while buyers with kids are more willing to compromise
  • Respondents with kids were more likely to prioritize convenience to schools and quality of schools than respondents without kids.
  • Sellers with kids were more likely to have to move "very urgently," and buyers with child care expenses made more compromises.

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It’s probably no surprise that school district and convenience to schools are important to homebuyers and sellers with kids. But do you have any idea how the presence of children in a household affects a seller’s urgency to move or a buyer’s willingness to compromise?

Those are just two of the factors that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) considered in its “Moving With Kids” report, which NAR based on responses to its 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

School districts and reasons for moving

NAR reported that buyers with kids were more likely to consider convenience to schools and quality of the school districts when purchasing a home than buyers without kids — an obvious finding, but a striking difference nonetheless.

According to survey respondents, 43 percent of buyers with kids considered convenience to schools in their home purchase decisions (compared to 6 percent of buyers without kids), and 49 percent of buyers with kids took the quality of the school district into account (compared to 12 percent of buyers without kids).

Another fairly obvious finding was the reason a family with children might be seeking to move.

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Respondents with children under 18 in the home were much more likely to report that they’d outgrown their current home than respondents without children in the home, and respondents with kids were also slightly more likely to move because of a job relocation or change in family situation than respondents without kids.

By contrast, respondents without children in the home were a lot more likely than respondents with children to move closer to friends or family or to move because their home was too large for them.

Pain points for parental buyers and sellers

NAR dug a little bit deeper into motivations and problems that buyers and sellers with kids experience.

It’s probably not surprising that buyers who have to pay for child care might need to make some compromises in their home search, but the extent and number of those compromises might be enlightening.

A happy 16 percent of buyers with child care expenses reported that they made no compromises in their purchase decision, but for everyone else paying for child care and trying to buy a house, just about everything else (including quality of the schools, neighborhood and distance from friends and family) was on the negotiating table.

Sellers with kids seemed to compromise in a different area — the timing of their sale.

NAR reported that 26 percent of seller respondents with kids needed to sell their home “very urgently,” compared with 14 percent of seller respondents without kids. And only 30 percent of seller respondents with kids had the leisure of waiting “for the right offer,” compared with 47 percent of seller respondents without kids.

The association used data from its 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, a 132-question survey sent to a random sample of homeowners who had purchased a primary residence home between July 2015 and June 2016, to create this “Moving With Kids” report. It received 5,465 responses to its Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey and published the full results in October 2016.

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