Tips for Finding a Multi-Generational Home
Whether it is for financial reasons, health care reasons, or simply a desire to be closer to family, multi-generational living is becoming increasingly popular. With the needs of everyone from young children and teens to aging parents to consider, finding the right multi-generational home can be challenging. The following are a few tips to make the process of finding the right home and combining households as easy as possible.
If your home is going to include your parents or grandparents, it is important to consider that they may one day require mobility aids, such as walkers and wheelchairs. Look for homes with wider interior hallways, doors, and bathrooms. Single story homes and homes with a downstairs bedroom and bath are also preferable.
Whether it is adult children moving back home after graduating college or parents moving in because they need extra care, it is important for everyone to have their own private space that they can call their own. Look for properties with in-law suites, finished basements with separate entrances, and flexible spaces that can be used for additional bedrooms or living spaces. If you are unable to find these options in a single family home, you can always look to duplexes, side-by-side townhomes, or a home with an adjacent empty lot that will give you room to expand.
A household with multiple generations can easily have three to five vehicles, which means that parking can become a real issue. Multi-car garages, extra-wide driveways, and large lots that can accommodate detached garages or carports can keep you from having to shuffle vehicles every time someone needs to go somewhere.
Talk to Your REALTOR®:
If your plans involve extensive renovations or turning a single-family home into what amounts to two separate residences, be sure to let your real estate agent in on the plans. Your REALTOR® will be familiar with local ordinances and zoning laws that may impact your ability to modify the home.
Be Willing to Compromise:
Everyone needs to have some input in the selection process, and there should be a consensus when it comes to the final decision. It is also important for everyone to understand from the outset that no one will get everything on their wish list and that certain compromises will be necessary.
Put Agreements in Writing:
To avoid misunderstandings, families considering combining households should formalize the agreement in writing. The agreement should cover everything from financial responsibilities and the division of chores to how assets should be divided if the arrangement should end.
It is unlikely that there will be a need or enough space in the new home for everyone’s furniture and belongings. Before moving day, family members should compare lists of the items that they plan to keep in order to weed out duplicates and identify items that can be sold or donated.
Even if multi-generational living is not in your immediate future, it is still worth considering the various scenarios that could arise during the time that you plan to live in the home.