Teens are now helping their parents find homes online, and it's a great idea

Megan Willett

The children of the families who spoke with The Times ranged from 10 to 15-years-old and were all comfortable finding deals, communicating with brokers, and looking at websites for their future property.

Perhaps it’s because they’re lured by online images of condo amenities like an indoor pool or a children’s playroom or because they’re fans of ‘Million Dollar Listing New York’ on Bravo,” Kaufman writes.

My colleague Shane Ferro was not so amused. "Is the New York Times Real Estate section trying to foment class war?" she wondered.

But kids helping their busy, tech-illiterate parents find great real estate deals is not a bad idea. They have more time to browse these real estate websites and reach out to brokers than their working parents and it teaches them the ins and outs of real estate, taxes, and responsibility.

Plus, with how tech-focused apartment searching has become, it makes sense to have tech-savvy millennials searching through the thousands of listings on Trulia, Zillow, and Streeteasy.

It’s also a useful tool for foreign buyers who may not understand the culture or language as well as their children. “There are international buyers who want to buy a pied-à-terre or want to buy an apartment for investment purposes, but they’re not familiar with the New York market and don’t speak English very well,” Bruce Ehrmann, an associate broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate, told The Times.

Most of the parents The Times spoke with even said their son or daughter understood the family price point, though a few admitted to going outside of the budget to nab their dream home.

But ultimately, it’s a way for the parents to bond with their child.

“I’m seeing this trend where parents are coming in to look at my listings and proudly announcing that it was their son or daughter who found it,” Bonnie Hut Yaseen, an associate broker at Fox Residential, told The Times. “They’re finding an unexpected resource in their children.”

Read the full New York Times profile here.

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