Making A Multigenerational Home Work For Your Family
Multigenerational living is a household with at least two adult generations or one that includes grandparents or grandchildren living in it. Your home might even be one of these because data show that approximately 60 million Americans, or a little over 19% of the population, live in a multigenerational home, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. In your neighborhood, it’s possible that one out of every five homes could be considered a multigenerational home.
The benefits of a multigenerational home are many. Various members of the family could save money by sharing a home in a number of different scenarios that include temporary situations to long-term set-ups. Relationships can improve when family members see each other one-on-one on a more frequent basis. Many people might feel a stronger sense of being grounded when having other generations present in a home. Close quarters can improve your family’s situation in a myriad of ways.
Making your home multigenerational is easy in terms of adding people to the household, but you need to address other considerations. Your home may need improvements or additions to accommodate others, or you may find your family shopping for a newer home to meet everyone’s needs.
When relatives come to live with you, it’s imperative to outline exactly how expenses will be shared and on what timeline, including length of stay if it’s a temporary situation. It may be necessary to discuss these living arrangements with other family members not living in the home so if the situation changes, no hurt feelings ensue.
Finances are improved for all parties when appropriate arrangements are made to share costs.
- Families or individuals, who might otherwise be left struggling with living expenses, instead have a lifeline to get back on their feet. Recent college grads, those reeling from divorce and others who have experienced job loss may become temporary adult members of the household.
- Multigenerational households can offer affordable elder care and/or child care. Family members have peace of mind that a related individual is responsible for caregiving.
- Deeper relationships are formed when living under the same roof. Grandparents can develop closer bonds with their grandchildren just as aunts and uncles and cousins can grow closer when living in the same home. Parents and children can learn more from each other when living together as adults.
- Feelings of belonging or connectedness can grow when families are living under one roof, sharing experiences and expenses as a unit. In this age of digital everything, nothing beats in-person conversations and daily interaction. Family members may become more deeply attached to one another and feel a deeper sense of community in their own home.
- Learn when multigenerational housing might be an option. Different adaptations for your home may be necessary, including adding a bathroom, bathroom fixtures, soundproofing, bedrooms, storage, parking, an elevator or stair lift. You might also have to change laundry facilities, the entry to the home and/or the home’s kitchen arrangements. Before starting any work, be sure to check with local government offices to make sure your planned changes meet current code and permit regulations.
- Discuss specifically how much and how often family members will contribute to housing costs, upgrades and maintenance. Agree on the division of chores.
- Outline the exact timeline of the arrangement—limited or open-ended—before making any changes to your home.
- If elder care or child care is involved, other stakeholders, including relatives who are not living in the home, need to be brought into the discussion in case situations change and a new caregiving solution is needed.
- Enlist the assistance of legal and financial professionals to keep everyone on the same page.
Make A Change
- If you find that you need to change homes because you’ll be the host of a multigenerational household, give us a call so we can help you sell your current home and find the appropriate home for your family’s next step. We’re here to help move your entire family!