Multigenerational Homes

A multigenerational household consists of two or more adult generations living under the same roof. Examples include a couple who still has an adult child living at home, or an adult who lives with and cares for aging parents. Check out this statistic: Eighty-four million Americans, that’s 20% of the population, now live in multi-generational households that include two or more adult generations or grandparents and grandchildren younger than 25! It’s much more common than you think!

The trend of multigenerational homes is nothing new. In 1940, about 25 percent of the U.S. population lived with three or more generations in a single household. After World War II, this number decreased to 21 percent in the 1950s and hit an all-time low of 12 percent in the 1980s. Today, numbers are on the rise with 64 million Americans having two or more adult generations in a single home. According to the Pew Research Center, factors such as the need to provide care for aging parents and millennials moving out later due to massive student loan debt have contributed to the increase in these numbers.

Most of the pros and cons are pretty obvious. Having two homes under one roof is very economical: additional adults with incomes to share in the bills and utilities. It’s also a great way to have elderly parents nearby. There are more people around to assist with watching children. From a security standpoint, the home is less likely to be empty during the day. The biggest downside can be privacy. Sharing your home is not easy with other adults, especially ones who have been used to living independently.

You’ve heard of the “mother in law suite”. A home within a home that offers a separate entrance, kitchenette, living area, a bedroom or multi-use room, and a bathroom. These additionals are great not only for in laws, but also, overnight guests, a live-in nanny, or a potential rental source. And builders are taking notice! Many builders here in Minnesota offer floor plans that include an appartment within a home. Check out this floor plan by Lennar:

If your home is not currently designed to be a multi-generational home, you can consider three options. Pull out equity and add on to your existing home, move into a larger home (but you’ll have less expenses with one larger home than two smaller ones), or buy a home that is already designed with 2 separate living spaces.

Having an in-law suite will almost certainly boost the value of your home.  The Nest reports that many home buyers are “willing to pay extra for a basement and an in-law suite.” This is according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors. The study found that “a finished basement and in-law suite were the two most desired aspects of a home that buyers would be willing to pay more for.” Bottomline: having an attached or detached mother-in-law apartment is a great way to increase the value of your home and improve its resale potential.

Want to learn more about how you can have a multigenerational home? Give me a call. I can assist in tapping into your equity for an addition or remodel or help you sell your homes and find a better fit for all the generations in your home to have privacy with the comfort of knowing you are under one roof!

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