Press releases

Attention Families: Homes With Treehouses Are Selling For 2.2% More Than Expected

Parents searching for their family's next home should be prepared to move quickly and pay a premium for kid-friendly home features.

- Listing keywords indicating nearby parks, bonus space, and pools are some of the hottest for attracting buyers

- Families should expect to pay more for kid-friendly features, with listings that mention "treehouse" or "garage" associated with a 2.2% sale premium.

- Kid-friendly homes are also selling quicker than expected. Homes with a backyard mentioned in the listing description are selling more than five days faster.

May 6, 2021

SEATTLE, May 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 in Phoenix, 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.

Top 10 Kid-Friendly Features Associated with Homes Selling for More Than Expected


Price Premium



Shed, garage


hot tub, in-ground spa/jacuzzi


Central heating, cooling




Swing set


Finished basement


Bonus space







Top 10 Kid-Friendly Features Associated with a Faster than Expected Sale


Days on Market Shorter than Expected

Back yard


Central heating, cooling


Nearby park(s)




One level/story




Cul de sac


Fenced (back)yard




Community pool



Approximately 1.4 million home sales from 2020 were analyzed. In each case, the listing description on Zillow was flagged for whether it contained any variation of each of 254 common expressions of interest. The logged final sale price (or days on Zillow) was regressed against the logged pre-listing Zestimate, which represented Zillow's best guess of how much it would sell for when listed, as well as (simultaneously) the presence or absence of every one of these 254 listing description features. Only results for features that are considered 'kid-friendly' and with a statistically significant coefficient and which appeared in at least 100 listing descriptions are reported here. This research does not measure return on investment on these features.

About Zillow Group:
Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z and ZG) is reimagining real estate to make it easier to unlock life's next chapter.

As the most-visited real estate website in the United States, Zillow® and its affiliates offer customers an on-demand experience for selling, buying, renting or financing with transparency and nearly seamless end-to-end service. Zillow Offers® buys and sells homes directly in dozens of markets across the country, allowing sellers control over their timeline. Zillow Home Loans™, our affiliate lender, provides our customers with an easy option to get pre-approved and secure financing for their next home purchase. Zillow recently launched Zillow Homes, Inc., a licensed brokerage entity, to streamline Zillow Offers transactions. 

Zillow Group's brands, affiliates and subsidiaries include Zillow®, Zillow Offers®, Zillow Premier Agent®, Zillow Home Loans™, Zillow Closing Services™, Zillow Homes, Inc., Trulia®, Out East®, StreetEasy® and HotPads®. Zillow Home Loans, LLC is an Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #10287 ( 



For further information: Haley Mills, Zillow,