Family Proximity is Lower Priority for Buyers

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More home buyers are saying that living near family members is not an important consideration for them when home-shopping. They’d rather concentrate on property size, crime rates, school district, and length of commute when shopping for a new home rather than focusing on the distance to their in-laws, according to a new survey by Trulia and research firm Harris Interactive.

The No. 1 driver in their home search? Home size, according to 70 percent of adults surveyed with children. The other top concerns for home-shopping that followed were crime rate, school district, and length of commute. 

On the other hand, 33 percent of adults with children and 29 percent of adults without children cited proximity to family members as important criteria when looking for a home to purchase. 

“Family members want intimacy at a distance,” says Deborah Carr, professor of sociology at Rutgers University. “They want love and support from their kin, but they also want to maintain their independence and autonomy.” 

That said, when times get tough, more Americans say they want to be near families. A survey during the recession by showed that Americans wanted to move near family or move-in with family to help curb costs. Multigenerational households have been rising. In fact, in 2008, 16 percent of Americans lived in a household with at least two adult generations — a record percentage, according to Pew Research Center research. 

Source: “Most Americans Don’t Care About Living Near Family,” The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 26, 2013)

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