Living near family low on home search wish lists, poll finds – from

Dr. Amy, sociologist extraordinaire, was asked by to comment on a recent online survey conducted by, a real estate site. The survey separates parents from non-parents, but like most surveys, does not separate the childfree from the childless. Still, there’s some interesting info in there. The survey reports that, compared to parents, non-parents…

  • care much much  less about quality of schools (42% difference)
  • care more about the length of commute to office/work (12% difference)
  • care more about the home’s proximity to amenities (9% difference)

The rest of the responses did not show much difference. One of the responses that showed little variance was “Proximity of Home to External Family”. The difference here between parents and non-parents was only 5% with parents ranking this higher (33%) than non-parents (29%) (numbers rounded, of course). For both groups, living near extended family was ranked 2nd to last of all the options. To me this is interesting as many of us childfree have no doubt been BINGO’d with the question “Who will take care of you when you’re old?” Now I’m not going to read too much into this survey but it is interesting that so there is so little difference between parents and non-parents here. Assuming that proximity is a factor in care, one might infer that the majority of both parents and non-parents are not planning to take care of their parents in old age.

“BINGO” right back at ya!

Living near family low on home search wish lists, poll finds

A. Pawlowski TODAY contributor

Comedian George Burns once said happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family — in another city. So even though living close to relatives may mean more support and child care options for parents, maybe the findings of a recent survey aren’t that unexpected. When asked what factors, other than the price, would be most important when searching for a new home, only 33 percent of people with children cited the home’s proximity to family, according to an online surveyconducted this summer by the real estate website More than 2,000 adults took part in the poll.

granmother, grandson, child, read, elderly, senior, babysit

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If given the option, would you live near your parents or in-laws, or maintain a safe distance?

Parents were only slightly more interested in living near relatives than non-parents, 29 percent of whom said having a home close to family was important. The results aren’t particularly surprising, said Amy Blackstone, chair of the department of sociology at the University of Maine.

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