Since the most recent economic downturn began in 2008, the number of Americans living in multigenerational homes has risen steadily. Today, 60.6 million U.S. residents live with multiple generations under one roof, according to Pew Research Center. That’s nearly 20 percent of the nation’s entire population.
Like many Americans, you may be considering expanding your home to accommodate your aging parents, your children, or your grandchildren—or a combination of all three. Although millions of Americans make this transition every year, it can still feel like entirely new territory. But when done right, multigenerational home living can be a wonderful experience that benefits every family member.
Here, we take a look at some of the pros and cons of multigenerational homes to help you make the most of it:
Greater convenience. For many families, the No. 1 perk of multigenerational home living is also the most practical one: Sharing a home is very convenient for a wide range of circumstances. For example, elderly parents often need a bit more help with everyday tasks, such as grocery shopping and lawn care. Living in the same home makes these kinds of tasks simple and convenient for those who need help.
Cost savings. Saving money is another key reason behind the growing trend of multigenerational homes. For many customers, sharing a home presents the opportunity to greatly reduce common expenses, including the cost of a mortgage. Some families save significant amounts of money by welcoming an aging parent into their home, rather than investing in a retirement community. For many, additional money is saved by avoiding the cost of visiting loved ones across town or in another state.
Togetherness. A multigenerational home also offers a much more heartwarming perk: time with your loved ones. In a single home, family members of all ages get to spend their days together. Many of our customers opt for a multigenerational home to make room for their adult children and grandchildren. This gives them the chance to watch their grandchildren grow up and even help out with childcare when needed.
Limited space. In many traditional homes, squeezing in extra family members can quickly lead to a shortage of space. After all, most homes are designed with one master suite, one living area, and a couple of smaller bedrooms. That’s why a custom home is such an ideal fit for a multigenerational family: Floor plans like The Mt. Rainier feature several bedrooms and multiple living areas to give family members plenty of space and privacy. You can even customize the layout to suit the age and size of your family.
Shared expenses. A multigenerational household can also cause unexpected stress over the sharing of financial responsibilities. However, by keeping an open dialogue about budgets and spending and regularly checking in on expectations, you can ensure that finances don’t become a source of discord.
New priorities. When families add multiple generations to a single home, it can create an abrupt change in priorities. For example, an elderly parent may require a first-floor bedroom and living area so that he or she doesn’t have to worry about climbing stairs. Or adult children with their own kids may need a separate, quiet bedroom to encourage their little ones to sleep soundly. A customizable floor plan like The Cashmere would be a good fit for these challenges, with a spacious one-story layout that includes separate bedrooms and multiple living areas.
As you can see, multigenerational home living can present several important benefits. And while some families may encounter a few challenges, they aren’t anything that can’t be overcome in the right home. For many, a custom home solves many of the potential issues of sharing a home with family members, providing enough space and privacy for all.
Ready to learn more about building a custom home for your growing family? View our multigenerational floor plans.