Multi-generational living increased during the recession, as everyone from young college grads to grandma pinched their pennies. Now, approximately 51 million US citizens live in a house with at least two adult generations, or a grandparent and at least one other generation. What’s more, 32 percent of adult children expect to share their house with a parent eventually, according to a survey by national home builder PulteGroup.
If you’re considering multi-generational living, consider these tips for building a home that will suit everyone’s needs.
First, determine if you want your spaces to be open and accessible to all, or cordoned off. Some builders have designs that resemble duplexes, which offer two private master bedrooms and baths, but have a shared living space and kitchen in the middle. Others, like Lennar’s Next Gen® home design, offer a completely separate suite for guests or family members who are moving in full-time.
When considering features and amenities, it’s helpful to keep in mind who is moving in. If an elderly family member is moving in, consider their mobility and look into a sprawling rambler, or a home where their bedroom, kitchen and bathroom will be all on the main level. Additionally, consider which rooms will need handrails, and which hallways may need to be wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair or scooter. With more people in and out of the house, it may be a good idea to stick with an open floor plan, regardless of the actual square footage. High ceilings and fewer walls between common rooms can help achieve a home that easily accommodates high traffic. Selecting materials that can withstand wear and tear is also necessary when choosing a home that will be shared by extended families.
Ready to get started on buying or building? Consult a new construction home expert to determine which multi-generation home is right for you.