Multiple Generations Under One Roof

By Lana Simon, Communications Specialist, Regional Support Center

Have you noticed larger families in your neighborhood? That long-gone college grad is back across the street, and grandma’s moved in, too. The older couple next door has a full house – their son, his wife and two kids. A growing number of homes consist of a wide-ranging blend of age groups and family circumstances. According to the National Association of Realtor’s 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 14 percent of recent buyers purchased a home for a multigenerational household — a home that had adult siblings, adult children, parents, and/or grandparents in the household. One-quarter of these homes were bought because children over the age of 18 were moving back into the home and for cost savings. One of five multigenerational households purchased because of health reasons and care-taking of aging parents, while 1 in 10 purchase this type of home to spend more time with aging parents.

Helpful Hints:

  • Buyers must be clear about their exact needs. Some families may just want an extra bedroom or two for family members, while others require areas with a separate kitchen, entrance, handicap accessibility or even a larger garage. Desired location may also be influenced by proximity to local hospitals, senior centers or other important activities to family members.
  • Extended families purchasing a home together should consider signing a written contract outlining everything from finances to chores and childcare. Each family should assess their situation individually and find a plan that works best for them.
  • Sellers with “mother in-law suites” or additional spaces that could accommodate a multi-generational living arrangement should highlight this feature. Whether it’s a garage apartment or refurbished basement, this separate space can help the home stand apart from the others.

Check out these homes that would make great multigenerational homes:

This private retreat near Holy Hill in Erin, WI listed by Margaret O’Leary  boasts an entire guest or in-law wing! This special guest space is actually a 700+ square feet attached wing with private front entrance, beamed cathedral ceiling and bay windows.

This gorgeous Woodridge, IL home listed by Alice Chin of our Naperville office, is a perfect example of living space that can be used in a variety of ways. The first floor has a bedroom with an attached full bath, perfect for an in-law suite. Or if you could create an entirely separate living space in the finished basement that includes an area that could be easily transformed into a kitchenette.

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