The Rise of Multigenerational Living
While some people may cringe at the thought of living with their in-laws, for 64 million Americans it’s a way of life! Typically, in America, housing has been designed on a universal scale with the single-family in mind. According to most recent data by Pew Research Center, almost 20% of Americans are living in multigenerational housing compared to 12% in the 1980s. Mark Spain Real Estate has summarized the evolution of multigenerational living and its effect.
Growing Housing Trend
For thousands of years, keeping the family together was commonplace. It wasn’t until the Golden Age of advertising in the 1950s and ’60s did this trend decline. Generation X was sold on the idea of independence and freedom. This prompted the mass building of three-bedroom, one bath ranches that are notoriously scattered across the southeast. There was no longer room for Grandma and Grandpa.
Despite this, multigenerational living is making a comeback. Real estate agents and homebuilders are starting to take notice. Whether a buyer is seeking an “in-law” suite, housing for boomerang children, or private quarters for aging parents, the demand is tremendous. According to a survey conducted by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, as many as 41% of buyers are considering how to incorporate accommodations for aging parents or adult children.
There are major benefits for multigenerational housing. For starters, lenders like to see a steady income. Contributions from retired parents can be included in total household income. That income makes it easier for adult children to qualify for a home loan. For some families, older parents simply may not have enough income to maintain independent lifestyles anymore and joining forces make living expenses more affordable.
Shared Responsibilities & Child Care
Additionally, without grandparents living under the same roof as their children and grandchildren, some millennials find it difficult to work because of the lack of access to affordable or available childcare. This is especially true for those living in larger cities where costs are rising. On average, the typical family spends about $1000 a month on childcare. For these buyers, that money is best used as a mortgage payment or in an investment account.
Furthermore, boomerang children, are another driving force in this multigenerational living trend. Even though these children left the nest and went out to establish a career, and possibly a family of their own, mounting student loan debt and lack of savings have forced them out of the home-buying market. The parents of these children, are now in search of options that provide enough space for children, grandchildren, as well as themselves. Expenses can then be shared by all family members, allowing for more disposable income or savings for the future.
Strengthened Family Bonds
Beyond the financial benefits, there are many other reasons that families choose to live under the same roof. Culture plays a factor in multigenerational home buying. As our country grows, more people are bringing their values and customs along. In other areas around the world, it is a sign of respect to provide for aging parents. They are viewed as an asset to younger generations and serve as a means of continuing traditions. Similarly, many seniors desire closeness and time with their kids and grandkids that living together can provide. Many adult children also value the positive health outcomes that can accompany living with their elderly parents.
Multigenerational Home Buyer Solutions
Although many builders are responding to the demand for multigenerational housing by offering new floor plans and expanded options, many buyers are finding it difficult to find such a home due to supply or price range.
A more affordable solution for multigenerational living is remodeling an existing space when new construction is not an option. Converting a garage or attic space, even building a small addition, can meet the demands of this type of buyer. With a little creativity and an open mind, there are unlimited possibilities when meeting the needs of today’s multigenerational buyer.
Interested in owning a multigenerational home? Contact us to get started! We’d love to help you find the home of your dreams.