Today’s Hard Times Encourages Tomorrow’s Multigenerational Housing
BY: Diane Lott, Broker // Paradise Found Realty
Today’s family home may also house grandparents or a young adult or two. Multigenerational living is a growing trend that makes sense to many. It’s one way of reducing expenses — but those who have experience say it has multiple advantages, as well as some challenges. There are two types on the rise: two-generation and three-generation. The first is created when adult children continue to live with their parents or return to live with their parents at an age when they would typically be on their own. The three-generation type consists of grandparents, parents, and kids living together. The three-generation trend is seen because of an aging population and rising housing costs and two-generation households due to low starting salaries and big student debt have fed the growth. Many generations living together can have its pros and cons.
PROS AND CONS:
One reason why some families move in together is to facilitate childcare. Parents reap multiple benefits when grandparents are healthy enough to help with childcare. Parents save money, and those with early working hours don’t have to struggle to get children out of the house and deposited at daycare. When children have minor illnesses, they can stay at home with the grandparents, and the parents won’t have to miss work. Since most grandparents enjoy being with their grandchildren, this arrangement has benefits for them, too.
When older family members begin to have health issues, moving in with their adult children can make sense. Not only can their health and well-being be more easily supervised, but they won’t suffer from the loneliness that is so pervasive in the elderly. Sometimes young families find themselves dealing with accessibility issues or having to find space for an additional caregiver. Still, many families find that keeping their loved ones in a home setting is worth the trouble.
Sharing expenses in a multigenerational home isn’t always simple. It’s important to have a financial agreement in place before the move takes place, and the agreement should probably be in writing.
Housing Solutions for Success:
Besides interpersonal issues, sharing housing requires the right kind of house. In response to financial and cultural forces, Builders have begun to offer floor plans that are more accessible and more share friendly. These include plans with two downstairs master suites. These floor plans typically offer a private suite within the home, with a kitchenette and sitting area as well as a private bedroom and bathroom.
Multiple generations can be accommodated by living on the same lot instead of sharing houses. Sometimes called granny flats or casitas, accessory dwelling units or ADUs can be added to existing lots when zoning and deed restrictions are allowed.