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Boomerang Kids Putting a Crimp in Empty Nest Home Sales



By S.E. Slack

Some "empty nesters" are discovering their nest is full again. Baby Boomers trying to sell homes and prepare for retirement aren’t just worrying about where they will end up; they’re worrying about where their adult child will live, too. That’s because, according to Pew Research, a rising number of young adults live in their parents’ homes – and don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

Called "boomerang" children, a record 21.6 million young adults ages 18 to 31 are still hanging out at mom and dad’s full-time, up from 18.5 million in 2007. Males are more likely than females to be living with their parents – 40 percent to 32 percent.

Several factors are at play regardless of sex, according to researchers.

The job market is a key piece of the equation. Young people can’t afford rent or other basics items without a job. About 45 percent of millennials are now unemployed. In 2007, 70 percent of them were employed.

Fewer millennials are getting married now, too. Pew states that a downturn in nuptials is likely associated with an increase in living at home; just 3 percent of married couples live with their parents.

On a brighter note, more young people are pursuing college than in past generations. Students living in college dormitories are considered to be living at home, which increases the rate about 4 percent. Once graduation occurs, millennials tend to move on and become more independent. They’re more employable, too, which gives them an edge in the job market.

Homeowners trying to sell a home and move out an adult child at the same time might not want to put a child out on the streets, but financial advisors say taking care of retirement and personal needs must come first for the parent.

Adult children should be asked to pay rent – no matter how small the amount – plus help keep the house clean for showings. Keep communication open concerning any closing dates and help the child create a plan for moving out prior to that date to ensure a sale doesn’t fall victim to the boomerang effect.

[Last modified: Thursday, January 23, 2014 6:00pm]


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