February 21, 2019 | Child Free Real Estate
I like kids. I really do. I have helped many, many families buy property who have kids or are planning on having kids. At the risk of sounding a little mushy, I really like to see families grow into the homes they buy. But enough mushiness… What I have noticed about many real estate articles is the focus on finding homes for families, as if every human being in the city has children. In fact, I would say the overwhelming number of articles or blogs still focus a standard family of two parents with two kids as their default representatives. So, every time someone gives an example of buying real estate, they factor in two parents and two kids. This time I’m not going to do that. This one is focused on those who have no kids or maybe have adult kids who have left the nest. Again, kids are great, but if you don’t have any around or don’t want any, then maybe your real estate decisions will be different.
Here are some key differences when buying real estate between those couples or singles who have kids and those who do not. Let’s not kid ourselves. Life can be very different depending on what route you take. So, these tips are for those who live child-free:
- ROAM FREE! SCHOOL ZONES DON’T MATTER Some parents, particularly when their kids are of a certain age, will be much more focused on school zones. And who can blame them? They want the best for their kids. But if you don’t have kids, you may have a small advantage in the real estate department. Good school zones tend to have very competitive housing prices and bigger price tags on them. I have seen some crazy stories of families who battle to land in highly-ranked school zones. I have even heard of families who rent in a good school zone while their kids are in school, but have their purchased house somewhere else. With no kids, you don’t have to worry about this. There are many fantastic, central areas of the city where you can live with so-so schools. Because those schools’ performances doesn’t mean a thing to you.
- SPACE AND STORAGE Kids need storage. They have lots of toys or clothes they grow out of very quickly. Without kids, you’ll need storage too, but a whole lot less of it. On top of that, you’ll need less bedrooms. So, this will be much easier on your wallet. I know that kids are worth the expense! But if they’re not around, the space and storage requirements may be much more tame.
- SUBURBS vs CITIES You’re going to find more families in the burbs. That’s a given. There is just more space and storage out there, and sometimes better schools and more affordable options. If you have no kids, you may still want the burbs, but without kids, you do have more free time. So, the city may be a better place to live for many. More restaurants, galleries, easy access to airports for travelling, and more people who don’t have kids. Of course, there are families in the city. My street is full of families and kids. However, the proportion is not so out of whack that you may feel like an alien if you are the only one within 2 miles who doesn’t have kids.
- CONDOS FOR CHILD-FREE? If you don’t have kids, some may think that a condo would be a better option. And that may be the case. Without kids, you will have more funds and time to do things that people with kids are not able to do as much, like travel for weeks at a time to far-off, exciting destinations. If this is the case, then a condo that you can lock and leave for months on end would be a good option. A house may be tougher to maintain, and if things go wrong while you’re away, you may have a disrupted vacation. Still, a house with no kids can still be a good fit depending who you are. Maybe you have a dog. Maybe you love gardening. Maybe you like to do ti chi on the grass.
- THE OTHER STUFF In a child-free existence, you may have more time for other things beyond your kid’s soccer practices and catching up on sleep. Maybe your an avid cyclist. Maybe you meet your friends every Sunday for brunch. If this is an important part of your routine, then your property decisions may be based more on your passions and routine. I have had a client pick a property based on their proximity to her beloved personal trainer at the gym.
Kids are great. They can certainly bring a lot to life for their parents. But they’re not for everyone. You know what else is great? Dogs and cats. Quietness. Time to spend travelling or taking advantage of the city. I’m not here to suggest what is the better path for you. Just know that living child-free does have its real estate advantages.
Kids are great. They can certainly bring a lot to life for their parents. But they’re not for everyone. You know what else is great? Dogs and cats. Quietness. Time to spend travelling or taking advantage of the city. No path is better than the other. You have to find what’s right for you. Just know that living child-free does have it’s real estate advantages.