Next-gen Living - Not Just a Mother-in-law Apartment
Next-gen, or Multi-gen, homes are just what they sound like – homes for multiple generations living under the same roof, and it’s becoming a thing again.
Historically, multigenerational families lived under the same roof - grandparents cared for the young while their adult children worked the farm or the family business. Over the course of many events (The Great Depression, World War II, women joining the workforce, car ownership, interstate highways, convenience food, and migration to suburbs) people wanted independence. They didn’t want to live like their parents. Families became disconnected and isolated and only saw their relatives on holidays.
Fast forward to today; according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the number of families with multiple generations under one roof is once again growing. As the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers age, more and more families are opting to live together. By 2030, one in five people will be over age 65. And, their children or grandchildren will be called on to care for them.
The rewards of next-gen living are many - expenses are shared, daycare costs are eliminated, and finances are improved for everyone. There is peace of mind knowing parents or grandparents are safe. Older generations won’t feel isolated and find comfort knowing younger family members are nearby in case of a medical or financial crisis. Grandchildren will be able to make memories with their grandarents.
It takes time to adjust and get used to living with multiple generations. Everyone’s lifestyle will change. People who love company may enjoy next-gen living more than a person who enjoys solitude. Convenience for an elderly person (think pop-off medication lids) is dangerous to a toddler. Decisions about babysitting, household expenses, chores, and even disciplining youngsters need to be made or at least discussed.
Ideally, next-gen houses have separate entrances, separate kitchens, separate living spaces and privacy. There aren’t many houses out there that meet optimal design standards. Some options are two houses on one lot, duplexes or four-plexes, or two living areas in the same house. It’s important to have a floor plan that fosters privacy but allows quality family time. Builders are beginning to see the need for specialty next-gen homes and homes with handicap accessible features.
REALTORS® can set up searches for you to see listings as soon as they are on the market and can arrange for you to see new homes on construction sites. Senior Real Estate Specialists (SRES) can provide insights and advice for your next-gen home search or adapting a home for aging in place. The best time to start talking to agents the minute you start thinking about buying or selling. Call me. Let’s talk.