In many cultures it's popular to have mothers-in-laws, grandparents, and children all living under the same roof. America though has had an attitude of independence and living in multi-generational households has just not been as popular.
Yet today, times are changing and multi-generational households are a growing trend which is changing what buyers are looking for in a house. There are a lot of families doubling up.
According to a January poll, 37 percent of buyers want to purchase homes that can accommodate multi-generational families. The poll also found that financial concerns were the primary reason for. That was followed by a smaller percentage that said the reason was health care issues. There were also times when young families were moving back into their parents home because they can't afford their own.
If you're considering a home for multi-generational living purposes be sure to look for these four things.
1. Space. Obviously, the more people in the home, the more space is needed. If the home isn't the square-footage that you need, buyers should just make sure that there is a way to expand on the property so that the home still retains its value upon resale.
2. No Stairs. Sometimes finding a home that's a single story can be very difficult, especially in densely populated areas. However, fewer stairs is a big plus for multi-generational families. Even homes that have sunken living rooms are often remodeled for not just the aging-in-place generation but also the very young.
3. Full bedroom and bath on first floor. If you can't find a single-story home that you like, at least having a full bedroom and bath on the first floor is essential. These types of homes are also highly sought after because of the fact that they have multi-purpose rooms—used for everything from an elderly family member, a nanny, or an office. With many people out of work and starting their own business, home office space is a high priority in housing.
4. Communication. People living together can be in a very blissful harmony but, often, issues occur if they are not stated and agreed upon beforehand. Looking for a home together can be challenging depending on mobility issues or, if small children are involved, it can lengthen the housing-hunt process. That doesn't mean their needs shouldn't be addressed.
It's a good idea to have several conversations to discuss the needs, chores, obligations, and expectations of all those who will be living in the home. Having this clarity ahead of time will allow you to shop for the most appropriate home as well as have a peaceful living arrangement beyond the purchase of the house.