Researchers say that birth order could have an impact on people’s housing decisions as they get older.
“Birth order plays a certain role in our upbringing, and thereby also affects the way we tend to think of ourselves and the behaviors we choose,” Ana Jovanovic from ParentingPod, an online resource for parents on mental health and well-being, told Apartment Therapy.
An example of this comes from Kevin Leman, author of The Birth Order Book, who says firstborns often tend to preference neatness and orderliness when considering which kind of home to buy.
“They are flaw pickers,” he told Apartment Therapy. “They’re going to notice paint chips on the walls or dirty rugs.”
Firstborns also tend to look for homes that offer a certain degree of solitude and independence, Jovanovic said. A meta-analysis of birth order studies shows that such people generally have more anxiety, as they’re under the watchful eye of worried parents. They may also choose to stay close to home so they can help their family in later life, due to that.
But middle children tend to display some of the fewest preferences in housing based on their upbringing, the studies found.
“They roll with the punches because they never had mom or dad to themselves,” Leman said. “They endured hand-me-downs, so while the firstborn is attracted to neatness and landscaping, which has to be perfect, [these don’t] have to be [perfect] for the middle child.”
Middle children are also more willing to share a condo or home with friends, and often choose neighborhoods based on the social opportunities available, Jovanovic said. They generally tend to be drawn to densely populated cities that provide more chances to socialize.
Youngest siblings meanwhile, tend to look for community environments when buying a home as they’re used to being around family members, Leman said.
“The baby of the family who feeds off other people would prefer condos that are stacked on each other, apartments, or a place with a community pool where they can meet others,” he added.
As for only children, they usually share the traits of firstborn children because they prefer solitude and quiet.