It wasn’t so long ago that it was very common for several generations of a family to live together under one roof. As people retired from their jobs and careers, they were able to help look after children, prepare family meals, and tend to the home. Aging parents had their adult children to assist them as they got older and needed additional care.
In the last quarter of the 20th century, people started moving farther away from where they grew up and trading in multi-family homes with parents and grandparents for spacious, modern homes for themselves. American have gained a lot in terms of personal space, modern luxuries, and economic and educational opportunities, but we’ve lost the conveniences that come with having many people playing many roles within the same home.
Now baby boomers are aging and their children are becoming the Sandwich Generation – adults caring for both their children and parents. As they try to juggle busier-than-ever work schedules, raising a family, and assisting their elderly parents, we’re beginning to see a shift back to multi-generations living together. But this time, it looks a little different.
The idea of the “in-law apartment” is no longer enough. Home buyers with the desire to live multi-generationally are either building a new kind of dream home to accommodate a full house, or looking for homes that can be renovated to meet those needs. It’s important to understand your options and get advice from experts.
Before putting on an addition or making any other major renovation, keep the resale value of your home in mind. Consult with realtors or experienced designers and builders to make sure that what you do fits the existing home structure and style. Determine what custom features you really need. Most will agree that higher square footage and several bathrooms will give people space to live along with some privacy. But you can get creative with the layout and make sure that each room functions in a way to benefit everyone.
Multi-generational homes should also be accessible to all ages and abilities. The right builder will advise you to make choices with the future in mind and avoid costly re-dos. That might include creating wider doorways, lower countertops, and walk-in showers even before those are necessary. Fixtures and accessories like light switches and handrails won’t look like afterthoughts if you incorporate them into the design and décor now.
Want to see what opportunities exist when building a home for multi generations? Book a tour with us today!