Considerations for multi-generational living
Have you ever considered inviting your parents to live with you and your children? If so, you’re not alone. Our trusted partner and real estate professional, Brooke Knight of Good Knight Homes, tells us that according to census data, multi-generational households have increased four-fold between 1971 and 2021. We are grateful for her knowledge and willingness to share her insights on building a happy multi-generational home.
If your family is considering multi-generational living, there are some things to keep in mind when you’re house hunting.
Even before the international pandemic, many people determined that it was best for their families to have two or more adult generations living under one roof. The high cost of housing in our area (in and around Seattle) is one reason people often go this route. Other people want to ensure that they can look out for their elderly parents. The image of our elderly mother falling and not being able to get help is something none of us want to consider. Finally, a lot of people are looking for their kids to be able to spend more time with Grandma and Grandpa and/or to get help from the older generation with childcare.
Whatever the reason, more people are choosing to live in a multi-generational home than ever before. "According to an analysis of census data from 1971-2021, the number of people living in multi-generational family households quadrupled during that time period, reaching 59.7 million in March 2021. The share more than doubled as well, to 18% of the U.S. population." (Pew Research Center study)
So, what are some key considerations for a harmonious multi-generational living arrangement?
First, having adequate privacy for everyone is key to having a happy multi-generational home. You can look for homes that have two primary suites, or at the very least have bedrooms located on opposite sides of the home. Also look for a place that has more than one living area so that there is ample space for people to spread out.
Secondly, look for a home that allows for ground floor living. As the older generation ages, going up and down stairs may be more difficult or frankly just impossible. If you can locate a home with a ground floor master bedroom, it will make it easier for the older generation to age in place.
Finally, look for a home with other accessibility features that might be needed as people age. For example, a zero-entry shower that someone can roll a wheelchair into might be required at some point. You may also look for a laundry room that is also on the main floor of the home to enable easier access for everyone. There are many smaller changes that can help make a home more accessible, but if you can find a home with these big-ticket items already completed it will save you time and money.
With the right preparation, a multi-generational family can live happily under one roof for many years.
Brooke Knight is a licensed and seasoned REALTOR® providing comprehensive real estate solutions to buyers, sellers, and investors in the North Puget Sound region. As a certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®), she is committed to providing expert guidance to older adults looking to downsize and find new homes. In her spare time, Brooke enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering for a variety of community causes including the Northshore Senior Center, the Island County Housing Authority, and the Bothell Kenmore Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult their own legal or tax advisor. This information is intended for educational purposes, and it is not to be construed as an offer, solicitation, recommendation, or endorsement of any particular security, products, or services.
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