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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Moran

Multigenerational Homes Can Benefit the Whole Family

The housing market has seen a resurgence in a trend that dates back thousands of years. With more and more families living with multiple generations in the same house, the demand for multigenerational homes continues to rise.

As custom home builders craft ideal designs for multigenerational homes, homebuyers are finding that the multigenerational lifestyle can benefit the entire family, from their finances to their social well-being.

What Is a Multigenerational Home?

Multigenerational living brings two or more adult generations under one roof. This may include a nuclear family who lives with an aging grandparent, or a parent who lives with their adult children and grandchildren. In some cases, even three adult generations can share the same home.

While this might seem unfamiliar to many modern United States homeowners, multigenerational living was a common lifestyle before the 1940s. In fact, it was not uncommon to have multiple generations living under the same roof for most of human history.

This lifestyle faded after World War II, when multiple socioeconomic factors made the single-family home a standard way of life. Multigenerational living reached an all-time low by 1980, with only 12 percent of families living in multigenerational homes.

But multigenerational living is on the rise again, a trend that has increased steadily for five decades. Pew Research Center found that nearly 20 percent of Americans now live in a multigenerational home. And custom home builders are getting creative with this growing lifestyle shift, creating multigenerational designs that provide a balance of shared space and independence for each generation.

Why are so many homebuyers seeking homes that accommodate a multigenerational lifestyle? Here are a few key benefits that homeowners are discovering for themselves.

1. Strong Family Relationships

Living with two or more adult generations allows family members to cultivate strong bonds across generations, which benefits both older and younger people. Grandchildren can have breakfast with their grandparents every day. Senior parents can spend time cooking dinner with their adult children. Young kids can learn from the experience of their parents and grandparents. Quality time is built into the daily routine.

Multigenerational living also allows generations to help each other and build strong bonds through shared responsibility. Younger family members help their older family members with physical tasks and new technology, while older family members can share their wisdom with the younger generation, creating a mutual bond that leads to enhanced overall well-being.

2. Ease of Senior Caregiving

Senior living facilities are expensive, a factor that many multigenerational homebuyers cite as a reason for their living decision. Living under the same roof as an aging parent allows adult children to care for their parents while their parents age gracefully in place. Caregivers can tend to their parents while providing a safe space for them to continue their independence.

This lifestyle choice allows homeowners to save money and provide necessary care, but it also allows them to maintain a strong bond with their aging parents. Custom home builders are crafting multigenerational home designs that make this situation ideal for both the caregiver and the aging parent, allowing for a fine balance of independence, safety, and supervision.

And the effects of this model have been tested by time. According to the Global Wellness Summit, cities that have remained intergenerational for centuries (like Okinawa, Japan and Sardinia, Italy) tend to see people live comparatively longer and healthier lives.

3. Financial Benefits for Young Adults

With the high cost of college tuition, student loans, and single-family home prices, many homeowners are turning to multigenerational living as a logical financial option, especially for young adults. In fact, a majority of young adults (ages 19 to 29) in the U.S. are living with their parents. This scenario can give young adults a tremendous financial boost, setting them up for a more stable future in the long run. Multigenerational living also offers much more financial flexibility. Housing payments can be shared, along with food and transportations costs. When it comes to young adults with small children, they can investigate the option to save money on rising childcare costs through the help that comes with a multigenerational lifestyle as well.

4. Practical Living and Shared Responsibility

More hands. Shared responsibilities. Delegated workload.

With more people living under the same roof, the process of daily routines becomes easier and more efficient. Family members can take turns making dinner, leaving other family members with more time on their schedule before a shared meal. Younger family members can drive older family members to the store. Older family members can babysit the young kids while the parents go to a movie. Everyone can chip in for groceries, electricity, or even for the house payment.

Having more generations contributing to the functions of one home can make the daily routine seem effortless.

5. Maintain Independence

A major fear of multigenerational living comes from the fear of losing one’s independence. But custom home builders are expertly navigating that balance of independence and shared experience. Many multigenerational homes feature private spaces for each generation. Some designs feature a loft above the garage with a private bedroom, bathroom, living space, and separate entrance. Some homes might include a private suite in a finished basement. The important thing is that each generation has their own space that is still connected to the shared areas of the main house.

With clearly defined private spaces and common areas, families are able to maintain their independence while providing opportunities to socialize with their family members as part of their daily routine.

Moving Forward

The trend toward multigenerational living has increased for decades, and it’s a lifestyle that has been around for centuries. As more and more homeowners ask for designs that will accommodate two or more adult generations under one roof, it’s clear that this is no simple trend. Multigenerational living is a movement for the future of home design.

Contact a custom builder like J&K Custom Homes to begin the process of designing your luxury multigenerational home.

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