The Rise of Multi-Generational Homes

Living with Mom and Dad — or Grandma and Grandpa — is regaining its cool factor. Not only is multi-generational living a way to help older or younger family members, it’s also financially smart.

According to the United State Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey, 18 percent of all U.S. households are incorporating multiple generations under the same roof.

multi-generational family

That’s a massive population segment that is launching its own housing trend. These larger adult families need space to sprawl, and the privacy and amenities to go with it. Home builders who respond with thoughtful, versatile home plans can tap a long-lived residential real-estate market.

What makes a multi-generational home? Two successive generations of adults living in the same home. Below are common scenarios that create those living arrangements.

Young adults living with parents

A generation or two ago, this was decidedly uncool. But as housing costs rose over the past few decades, coupled with the significant economic downturn of the mid-2000’s, living with Mom and Dad lost its stigma.

Having a reliable living space while plotting the future, or rebounding from an early adulthood crisis, makes it easier for adult children to find their independence. Multi-generational living is often cheaper and a smart way to minimize expenses.

Many younger generations delay marriage while pursuing their education and establishing their careers. Consequently, living with the folks is part of their plan.

A widowed parent living with an adult child

Caring for an ailing parent is no longer the only reason to live with one of the kids. Older adults who lose their spouses often don’t want to live alone.  Therefore, they may prefer to be nearer family and friends as they adjust to being widows or widowers.

Living with adult children is a common solution. A parent can maintain independence while still appreciating the solace and companionship that living with an adult child provides.

Divorced children returning to the nest

Flip the above scenario of widowed parents living with adult children. When adult children need housing as a consequence of divorce, moving back in with parents — whether long-term or short-term — is a top option.

It makes even more sense if the parents are older and perhaps on the verge of needing in-house care or companions.

How home builders can help multi-generational families

New-home builders can include thoughtful design elements such as “in-law” suites, plus additional bathrooms, entertainment rooms and kitchens in separate areas of the same home.

Equally crucial are single-level homes, which eliminate most access hassles, particularly for elderly members of the family.

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