Sandwich Generation Cuts the Realty Mustard

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – (By Dale King, Realty News Report) – From the real estate market’s point of view, people looking to purchase homes are often separated into “generational” categories such as Baby Boomers, Millennials, Generation Xers and Generation Z folks.

But another “generation” also exists in American society – the “Sandwich Generation” – a segment of the population tasked with the responsibility of providing care for their children (under 18) as well as parent(s) and/or grandparent(s) – all at the same time.

A report by Santa Clara-based real estate marketplace Realtor.com recently found an important connection between this group sandwiched between providing care to two family factions and the home buying/selling field – a pretty solid one where money can be a significant factor.

Realtor.com determined that financial support provided via the family caring process can impact the “Sandwich Generation’s” home buying capabilities – in both positive and negative ways, depending on how family care is arranged and paid for.

Many in the “Sandwich Generation” actually benefit in a couple of ways from the dual role of providing care for older and younger family members.

“Unfortunately for home shoppers, affordability is still a big challenge in the current housing market, but for the ‘Sandwich Generation,’ family support is providing a helping hand when it comes to finances,” said Laura Eddy, vice president of Research and Insight for Realtor.com.

On the plus side, the money can help pay for a home, retire a mortgage and/or it can be saved for retirement.

“Among the negative impacts,” Eddy said, “30 percent [of respondents] say they’ve been prevented from buying a home and another 30 percent report they’ve been unable to pay off their mortgage. By contrast, a third [of those surveyed] say [money from their caregiving] situation has helped them financially to buy a home.”

“In most cases,” she added, “whether [the assistance helps or hinders] the ability to buy a home or pay off a mortgage is highly dependent on what circumstances and arrangements the family has settled on.”

Caring for elder parents or grandparents provides another avenue to home ownership. “It’s not uncommon for people to find themselves taking responsibility for the home of an aging family member and ultimately inheriting the home after they pass,” said Kendall Bonner, Realtor.com housing expert.

“With today’s increased home equity and the state of current lending rates, it can be an extremely helpful way to get into the housing market, especially if they are not currently a homeowner. Real estate continues to be the most consistent method for building generational wealth.”

The “Sandwich Generation” can span multiple age groups. Millennials make up the largest portion (36 percent) followed by Gen Z (30 percent), Baby Boomers (17 percent) and then Gen X (16 percent). The survey says 17 percent of Americans – one in 6 — are taking care of their children (under 18) and parent(s)/grandparent(s) at the same time.

Between men and women, men are more likely to say they support both kids under the age of 18 as well as parents and/or grandparents, with more than half (56 percent) identifying as part of the Sandwich Generation vs. 44 percent of women.

Millennials are especially affected financially — and on opposite sides of the spectrum, says the Realtor.com report.  While 46 percent of Millennials who support children and older relatives say it is preventing them from buying a home, another 43 percent say their circumstance helped them afford a home.

More likely to be parents, Millennials say they support their children financially, most often in the home, while those in Gen Z are more likely than the general population to provide financial support to their parents.


July 3, 2024 Realty News Report Copyright 2024

Photo credit: Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report, Copyright 2024.

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File:  Sandwich Generation Cuts the Realty Mustard Realtor.com Sandwich Generation Cuts the Realty Mustard

 

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