On March 23, 2020, Governor Northam issued an executive order directing all K-12 schools to remain closed through the rest of the academic year. Parents around the Commonwealth have been struggling to find ways to help their children keep up with schoolwork while also getting their own work done from home. It has not always been easy. Whether it is struggling to figure out kids’ math assignments or trying to take in stride when your child dive bombs your Zoom meeting, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced parents to a new definition of “work-life” balance.

As schools remain closed, the State and local school districts are beginning to plan for when and how schools will reopen. There are no specifics on a timeline or format for K-12 openings, but there are on-going discussions about how schools might look different during the upcoming schoolyear.

Where are the places with greatest shares of households with children around Virginia? There are 10 counties and independent cities in the Commonwealth where at least 70% of households have at least one school-age child, between the ages of 6 and 17.

Rappahannock County has the highest share of households with school-age children; more than three out of four households in the County has at least one child between the ages of 6 and 17. On the Northern Neck, about the same share of households in Richmond County also have school-age children.

Share of Households with Children Age 6 to 17, 2018

Rank County/Independent City Percent
1 Rappahannock County 75.5
2 Richmond County 74.6
3 Buchanan County 74.1
4 Floyd County 74.0
5 Poquoson city 73.1
6 Halifax County 71.3
7 Greene County 71.2
8 Cumberland County 71.0
9 Russell County 70.1
10 Charles City County 70.0

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey

The unprecedented closure of K-12 schools in Virginia has made many families think more about how their homes can accommodate working and learning. REALTORS® can do several things to be a resource, both for their neighbors as well as for prospective clients:

  • REALTORS® can be an important source of information about when and how local public schools will be opening. Over the summer, public school districts will be releasing information and may be hosting virtual meetings to help keep families informed about plans. REALTORS® who share this information with their community can be a valuable resource.
  • Families looking to buy a home may be wary given the stay-at-home directive still in place and the uncertainties around future business and school openings. REALTORS® can continue to use a range of virtual tools and technology to help families with their home searches and to share information about communities.
  • COVID-19 may have a big impact on the types of homes families are looking for. More storage, fewer open floor plans, and dedicated home offices may all be on the list of “must haves” for families in a post-COVID home search.

What do you think? Are you seeing families with children looking for different things in a home? I’d love to hear from you!