Multigenerational living is and will be a thing of the future here’s why

Sonia Figueroa
Sonia Figueroa
Published on December 3, 2018

Sometimes I wish I had one of those magical crystal balls so I can see into the future. In real estate there is data which is kinda like a crystal ball. It shows us significant changes in the market that effect the way we live today and will in the future. Multigenerational living is happening now and only promising to grow in the future. I think of it in all colors, all races, genders, parents, grandkids and grandparents living under one roof. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and honestly that’s what multigenerational living is all about.

I was just talking to a fellow snap chatter (my Snapchat @soniafigueroaRE) and he said he doesn’t want to own a home.  He thinks it will affect his mobility and feels that if he has a home he will be tied down. He is a millennial and lives with his Mom and Dad. I have helped several home buyers purchase 2-4 units because the whole family wants to live together and share the mortgage the utilities and grocery list. This is becoming more prevalent. I also helped an elderly couple sell their home and move to their children’s home. They downsized because their home was just too big for them. These are just some examples of why multigenerational living is here and will be the new normal in the future.

It’s a new era where families want to be closer more than ever to reduce expenses and share their lives. 

Multigenerational households grew from 3.0 Million in 1990 to 4.2 Million in 2000. As a proportion of all households, the percent, and according to the National Association of REALTORS® 2015 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, 13% of all homes purchased in 2015 were multigenerational homes.

The demand for multigenerational homes has risen in the last few years, as families are finding it more financially feasible to live together and share resources. Why is this becoming more common?

Here are some reasons:

1. Boomerang Adult Children

Many Millennials are establishing a career and still paying off student loans. They can’t afford to live on their own, so they move back home with their parents. Mounting credit card and student loan debt. Add the high cost of living in some areas. I have been paying on my students loans for the last 10 years and I’m still not done. Although I am not living with my Mom I wish I was just to finish paying them off.  But the truth is it’s not all fun and games when you come back home you have to live under your parents ruling just like when you are were a kid, LOL  🙂

2. Aging Parents

Baby Boomers want to keep a close eye on their aging parents. To save money on separate housing or assisted living facilities, many are opting to have their parents live with them. As stated in the example above the elderly couple I was helping unfortunately had many ailments and could not keep up with the demands of daily life. It gets harder and harder as you age. Some aging adults refuse to leave their home as their feel like they will lose their independence but if you as an aging person decide to stay make sure you read my post on “5 ways to make and an empty nester suck less“.

3. Grandkids

Grandparents are moving in with their adult children to help care for their grandchildren. This not only helps offset childcare costs, it also enables bonding among the generations. Unfortunately with so many single parents out there many of the grandparents take over and help out their children take care of there little ones. Its inevitable they need to step in because they have no one else to take care of their kids and the cost of day care is crazy expensive not to mention if you are barely getting minimum wage.

4. Cultural Customs

Many families come from countries where multigenerational housing is customary. When they move to the U.S., they want to continue living together under the same roof. Trust me coming from a hispanic background we are known to try to and put in several of our family members under one roof no matter how cluster phobic it can become 🙂 Even if the home is not a 2-4 unit multi-family we find a way to fit everyone into a single family home.

Benefits of Multigenerational Living

Cost Savings — Increased usage doesn’t have to mean increased maintenance costs. Multigenerational living allows more family members to share household care and expenses, like the cost of an AHS Home Warranty, which helps reduce the cost of home system component and appliance repairs and replacements. Not to mention the household chores this might not be an expensive but it sure does take time to mow the lawn, rack those leaves and shovel snow. The more man power you have the better. You can share the responsibilities.

Resale Appeal — Homes that accommodate multiple generations are in demand. The separate quarters can be used to accommodate family, guests, a nanny, a home office/business or even a renter. As they say the bigger the better in this case. If you have a big home it can appeal to all types of buyers especially the ones with big families or extended ones. Layout is a important because an open-concept design which is all the rage right now can look much more spacious than a boxy space of the same size. The bedroom count also influences a home’s value because you can subdivide the walls.

Peace of Mind — Knowing that aging parents have companionship, that small kids are being cared for by loving grandparents, or that an adult child can save money to pay off student loan debt can bring the whole family peace of mind.

Talk about peace of mind. I had a client that found me on Yelp.com and she was in California, she said that here parents live here in Chicago and were in their early 90’s. She said they really needed help and only spoke Spanish. The lady I was speaking to was their daughter and had been living in California for about 8 years. She was highly concerned that her parents were here alone and she didn’t know the process of selling a home from afar. Once I met with her parents I realized they really weren’t in any condition to be living alone. I got the process started but I truly felt bad for them as their home was not in the best of conditions. It was a lot of work to get it sold but at the end of the day everyone had “peace of mind” once it was done.

What is the Multigenerational Buyer Looking For?

These buyers, who are typically between 50 and 60 years old, would like a home to offer privacy and separate living space for each generation, as well as large communal spaces, like living rooms or family rooms. Since these homes are not easy to find, many families remodel a home to accommodate their needs with separate bathrooms, kitchenettes, entrances and laundry rooms. It doesn’t end here multigenerational living is for everyone, ALL families. From same-sex marriages to single ladies. Now more then ever this type of buyer is being looked at heavily even Fannie Mae is in the mix  they are offering new loan programs for multigenerational families.

It is hard to miss this information when our population is not only growing but it is so diverse. By the next census experts predict that:

  • More kids will grow up with support of older relatives.
  • People in their 60s will be called on to care for 80 and 90 year-olds because we are living longer and the number of baby boomers is increasing.
  • More grandchildren will get to know their great grandparents.
  • The number of four-generational households will become the norm.
  • The number of single people will increase especially the single ladies out there.

According to pew research

A record 60.6 million Americans live in multigenerational households

The Great Recession is now in the rear-view mirror. 

Moving back in with your parents used to be taboo but attitudes are shifting so multigenerational living is here to stay!

If you need help on buying or selling feel free to contact me below.

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