Multi-Generational Housing: The New Demand

multigenerational living

According to a January poll by Coldwell Banker, 37 percent of its 2,360 agents polled noted increases in buyers who want to purchase homes that can accommodate multi-generational families. The poll also found that financial concerns were the primary reason for the 39 percent of buyers or sellers who were moving into multi-generational homes. That was followed by 29 percent who said the reason was health care issues, and 6 percent expressed tight family bonds as the motivator to combine households.

“There are times when there are young families moving back into a home because they can’t afford their own home and the owners of the home will adapt [their home],” says Goggin.

He says that owners used to build an apartment on top of the home for the younger couple. But he says, these days, homeowners are going beyond the common conversion such as finishing a basement or converting the garage. “It seems to be more elaborate, but always keeping in mind what will be sellable in the future—not just to throw an apartment on the house which usually is a negative point when you try to sell a house (because of local regulations about two family homes), explains Goggin.

He recommends that if you’re considering a home for multi-generational living purposes be sure to look for these four things.

1. Space. Obviously, the more people in the home, the more space is needed. Goggin says, if the home isn’t the square-footage that you need, buyers should just make sure that there is a way to expand on the property so that the home still retains its value upon resale.

2. No Stairs. Sometimes finding a home that’s a single story can be very difficult, especially in densely populated areas. However, fewer stairs is a big plus for multi-generational families. Even homes that have sunken living rooms are often remodeled for not just the aging-in-place generation but also the very young (crawling babies and barely-walking toddlers).

3. Full bedroom and bath on first floor. If you can’t find a single-story home that you like, at least having a full bedroom and bath on the first floor is essential. These types of homes are also highly sought after because of the fact that they have multi-purpose rooms—used for everything from an elderly family member, a nanny, or an office. With many people out of work and starting their own business, home office space is a high priority in housing.

4. Communication. People living together can be in a very blissful harmony but, often, issues occur if they are not stated and agreed upon beforehand. Looking for a home together can be challenging depending on mobility issues or, if small children are involved, it can lengthen the housing-hunt process. That doesn’t mean their needs shouldn’t be addressed.

It’s a good idea to have several conversations to discuss the needs, chores, obligations, and expectations of all those who will be living in the multi-generational living home. Having this clarity ahead of time will allow you to shop for the most appropriate home as well as have a peaceful living arrangement beyond the purchase of the house.

Source: Phoebe Chongchua (Realty Times and Live Fit Magazine)

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2 responses to this post.

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  2. Thanks for making my morning a little bit better with this great article!!


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