Can you afford to buy a home while supporting parents and children?

With housing markets across the country dealing with a lack of inventory and rapidly rising prices, working-age adults who let their parents live with them is an increasingly common situation. It’s intended to limit the total amount of expenses for one of the involved parties.

The impact on a working-age adult’s ability to buy a home or pay a mortgage varies. That’s according to a new survey from Realtor.com that shows split opinions on whether it helps or hurts.

Realtor.com calls these people the “sandwich generation,” defined as those supporting both their parents and children under the age of 18. Millennials make up 36% of this generation, Generation Z is 30%, Generation X is 16% and baby boomers are 17%.

Of this group, one-third say that caretaking both children and parents has helped them afford to buy a home. These people are commonly receiving help from older family, either in the form of previously generated equity in the older family’s house or from higher retirement income.

But another 30% say it’s preventing them from buying a home.

“Today’s housing market presents a challenge to most buyers, but especially to first time buyers, many of which are Millennials or Gen Z,” the Realtor.com report reads. “For those in the Sandwich Generation, housing may feel either untenable given family financial needs, or perhaps more approachable due to family support.”

Roughly one in six Americans qualify as being part of the sandwich generation. Among millennials, 57% say that receiving support from parents helps them afford a home, while 45% say it’s helping them to financially prepare for retirement.

But 47% say that caretaking older family and children simultaneously is preventing them from buying a home.

The gender makeup of the sandwich generation skews toward men, with 56% being males.

“It seems the impact of caretaking responsibilities on the Sandwich Generation is highly dependent on what circumstances and arrangements their family has settled on,” the report concludes.

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