Homes with treehouses are selling for 2.2% more than expected

Shopping for a home can be a challenging and emotional journey, and when kids are involved, finding the right home and moving becomes all the more complicated. New Zillow research highlights the hottest kid-friendly features that are attracting home shopping families, and shows why families should be prepared to pay a premium and move quickly for them.

Highlighting outdoor family-friendly features help homes sell more quickly than indoor ones, showing the high demand families place on outdoor space. Listings mentioning a backyard sold 5.2 days faster than expected, and homes featuring a sandbox (4.5 days quicker) and playground (2.5 days) also sold more quickly. Not only are outdoor features prompting faster sales, they are also associated with a higher sale price. The feature with the highest price premium is "treehouse," which contributed to a home selling for 2.2% more than expected. Other backyard features selling for a premium include Jacuzzi (1.6%), swing set (0.8%), and pool (0.5%).

"Buyers looking to snag a home near a park or with a treehouse better act fast. In a hot housing market like the one we've seen this past year, highly desirable homes are flying off the market at break-neck speeds. Homes with these features are being snatched up even faster, showing the intense competition buyers looking for family friendly features are facing," says Zillow economic data analyst Nicole Bachaud. "And while this doesn't mean sellers should add these features before they list or that these features alone will yield a high return on investment, they should definitely flaunt them if they have them."

Families also are prioritizing community amenities that make the neighborhood fun for kids. Keywords indicating nearby parks, cul de sac and community pools highlight common areas where kids can make new friends and play outside. These features also are associated with homes that sell between two and five days quicker than expected. Additionally, homes in a "walkable" neighborhood are going 3.9 days faster, meaning families want these amenities to be close by and accessible.

"Location is everything to our buyers with children. Homes within walking distance to recreation activities, such as parks and pools, are a high priority for home shopping families. Cul-de-sacs and quiet streets are also in high demand for kids to have a safe place to play and make friends," says George Laughton, Founder of The Laughton Team inPhoenix, Ariz. "Like many in the market, parents are taking advantage of record-low mortgage rates to find the perfect home that their children will love and make long-lasting memories in."

Homes featuring "finished basements" and "bonus space" —spaces excellent to separate out work from play to give parents some peace and quiet—are selling for 0.7% more than expected.

In today's market, home shopping can feel like another full-time job next to parenting and working. In a competitive market, securing pre-approval will speed up the process when the time comes to make an offer and snag the home with a swing set. Buyers can utilize real estate technology, such as 3D home tours, to virtually tour homes ahead of time so they can act quickly when they find one that fits their needs.

Zillow

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