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For families with kids, it all comes down to schools and size, according to findings from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), released this week.

In the latest Moving With Kids report:

  • 53 percent of buyers with children considered the neighborhood’s quality of schools in their search;
  • 50 percent of buyers with children chose their neighborhood based on proximity to schools; and
  • 25 percent of homeowners with kids moved for more space, on average 2,110 square feet, with four bedrooms and two full baths.

“Parents inherently make sacrifices for their children and family, and that is no different when shopping for a home,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “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.”

For buyers with children, childcare costs can hinder their home purchase, according to the report; in fact, 26 percent burdened by costs delayed their purchase. Of buyers with childcare expenses who made a purchase, 31 percent compromised on the condition of the home, and another 31 percent compromised on size. Twenty-four percent compromised on price. For both buyers with and without children, the biggest challenge was finding the ideal property.

“When buying or selling a home, exercising patience is beneficial,” says Yun, “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.”

For 23 percent of homeowners with kids, closing quickly was vital, and for 46 percent, “somewhat urgent,” the report shows. By comparison, just 14 percent of homeowners without kids needed to quickly sell.

Across all buyers, more than 85 percent enlisted a REALTOR® in the transaction. In communications with their REALTOR®, however, 67 percent of buyers with children preferred texting, while 74 percent of buyers without children favored a phone call.

“The report’s findings showed that both buyers and sellers, especially those with kids, are often dealing with a time crunch of some sort, trying to house-hunt while simultaneously raising a family,” says NAR President John Smaby. “Tech-savvy REALTORS® recognize this predicament and are meeting clients’ needs by contacting them via smartphone and text message.”

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Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at