This Is Us. Jane the Virgin. Black-ish. What do they have in common? They are all family television programs that have members of multiple generations living under one roof. But the reality of multi-generational living is more than sitcom fodder.
According to the 2019 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), multi-generational housing continues to be a growing trend among homebuyers. This trend is driven largely by Gen Xers, who are the second-largest band of homebuyers today at 24%. Of that cohort, one in six purchased a multi-gen home, half of whom cited accommodating adult children as their reason for doing so.
When it comes to millennial buyers, nine percent purchased a multi-generational property they could share with aging parents, per the report.
Whether you’re looking to accommodate aging parents or making room for your boomerang child, these tips will help you find the right place to make it work.
Look for a home that was built with multi-generational living in mind. Schumacher Homes, Lennar, and Plantation Homes are just a few of the builders offering a multi-gen solution in a brand-new residence.
Tailor your home search. If custom built multi-generational home isn’t doable, look for a home that’s easily convertible. A downstairs bedroom and bath is key for older residents, and an en suite bathroom is even better. A home with a basement or attic may seem like an ideal place to turn into a grandparent’s haven, but stairs can be dangerous and obviously wouldn’t work for a parent using a walker or wheelchair.
A property with a guesthouse or enough land on which to place a granny suite or tiny home is another option. Just make sure the land is zoned properly to accommodate this type of structure.
Make smart renovations. Taking down walls to create an open floorplan is a smart move that can have a positive impact on your home’s value and also make it more accessible for aging parents.
The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Aging-In-Place Remodeling Checklist recommends a “5-foot by 5-foot clear/turn space in living area, kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom.” They also suggest wide hallways that measure a minimum of 36-inches across, good lighting, and non-slip flooring.