If You Have Kids, Here Are the Top Home Buying Challenges to Expect

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Buying a house isn't a walk in the park. And buying a house with kids living at home? That's even tougher.

According to a study by real estate website Zillow, parents that are house hunting are more likely to blow their budget than adults without kids. Of homebuyers surveyed, 25.7% of parents spent more money than they had budgeted for a new home, as compared to 21.2% of nonparents.

This is likely due in part to the fact that parents have longer wish lists than nonparents when it comes to their dream home — they prioritize details like number of bedrooms, outdoor space, and location more than their childless counterparts.

And even if parents do stick to the budget, they're much more likely to compromise on those wish lists. The survey reports that 66.5% of parents who buy homes within their budgets have made compromises in order to do so, such as agreeing to a longer commute and choosing a smaller house than they originally desired. But just 51.6% of adults without kids reported having to make similar compromises.

To cap it all off, parents also have a more difficult time securing mortgages — 31.5% were denied a mortgage while only 11.5% of nonparents ran into the same issue. According to The Mortgage Reports, this has to do with a household's "residual income," the balance in your accounts after you pay for bills and expenses. In other words, "having children in your home can change your ability to get mortgage-approved."

Yet there's a silver lining for parents currently perusing the real estate market: 94.6% of them report loving their newly purchased houses, as opposed to 91.8% of adults sans children.


Stefanie is a New York–based writer and editor. She has served on the editorial staffs of Architectural Digest, ARTnews, and Oyster.com, a TripAdvisor company, before setting out on her own as a freelancer. Her beats include architecture, design, art, travel, science, and history, and her words have appeared in Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, Popular Science, Mental Floss, Galerie, Jetsetter, and History.com, among others. In another life, she'd be a real estate broker since she loves searching for apartments and homes.

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