How To Make Your Home Work for Your Multigenerational Family
It’s not uncommon for adult children to move back home or for aging parents to move in with their adult children. In fact, one in five Americans lives in a multigenerational household.
In order to live comfortably with additional adults, you need more than a casita (although that helps). You need spaces that offer privacy, accessibility for the elderly, and multi-purpose rooms.
Benefits of Multigenerational Living
Having extra people under one roof can be a lot, but there are also many benefits.
With more adults in the house, expenses and responsibilities can be split between more people. Grandparents may be able to help care for grandchildren, saving you on daycare expenses. And think of all the time you’ll save on traveling since visiting means only taking a few steps.
Living together also builds stronger family relationships. Studies have shown that close bonds between grandparents and grandchildren can increase children’s resilience and extend grandparents’ lives. Plus, adult children and their parents can get to know each other in new ways.
Multigenerational living can also be an alternative to assisted living. You’ll worry less about your aging family member when they are under the same roof as you. If they fall or have a health emergency, you or a loved one will be nearby to help.
Tips to Make A Multigenerational Space
If you want to turn your home into a multigenerational one, you’ll need to make some renovations and possibly add on.
More people under one roof means more need for personal space. In addition to private bedrooms, the family should have living areas where they can gather or be separated. This could mean a living room for watching TV, a den for reading, a game room for playing, and a kitchen and dining room big enough to fit the whole family.
If possible, add a casita with a separate entrance to give everyone their own private space.
If space is tight indoors, think outside the house. A deck in the backyard can make a nice family gathering spot.
You’ll also want to consider accessibility if your aging parents move in. Here are some suggestions:
Ideally, their bedroom should be on the first floor with access to a bathroom.
Bathrooms should have grab bars and a shower seat.
Keep often-used items within easy reach in the kitchen.
Install bright lights throughout the house and keep pathways and spaces clear of obstructions.
Shopping for a Multigenerational Home
Sometimes it’s more cost-effective to buy a house that’s more customized to multigenerational living rather than renovating your current house. Companies like Lennar even specialize in building homes for multi-gen living.
When shopping for a multigenerational home, the number one thing to look for is privacy. If possible, bedrooms for different generations should be in different zones of the house, and there are shared spaces with different purposes.
This privacy can be achieved in a variety of ways.
You could have separate bedrooms by having two completely separate living areas, like a guest house or an attached in-law suite with a kitchenette, or two master suites with their own bathrooms.
To get the extra space you need, you can make some rooms multi-purpose. For instance, an extra bedroom can act as both a guest room and an office. Before you start house shopping, think about what types of spaces you need and the different ways you could get them.
Multigenerational living can be a wonderful experience. If you’re ready to find your perfect multigenerational home, please connect with me today.