More and more aging parents are moving in with their adult children, and vice versa. Whether aging parents need health support or adult children need childcare, multigenerational homes can be mutually beneficial.
And it’s not an unusual arrangement. About 20% of the U.S. population—roughly 64 million people—lives in a multigenerational home, according to the Pew Research Center.
Here at MarketPro Homebuyers, we’ve helped countless families make generation-joining moves. We’ve heard what works and what doesn’t work, and based on that knowledge we put together this list of essentials for a successful multigenerational home. If you’re thinking of joining the growing contingent of families choosing this arrangement in your current house or in a new one, we want you to first know that we buy old houses for cash and we can even buy your house today.
More on that in a moment.
Essential #1: Honest communication.
Start the project off right. Have an honest conversation about needs, goals, plans, and even fears. Figure out how everything will work financially ahead of time. Communication is key to a positive experience for everyone. Remember that joining multiple generations in one living space can require unique solutions.
Essential #2: Enough space for everyone and everything.
If you’re buying or building, you can easily make sure you have enough space. If you’re using your current home, think about how to maximize the space you have. Everyone should feel like they have space for their belongings and activities. Some ideas for achieving this include:
- Make your rooms multipurpose: Maybe you can combine a playroom with an office, if you have school-aged kids who are gone during the day. Or, make a home office that doubles as a guest room instead. A crafting space could be combined with a laundry room. Get creative!
- Live outside! Adding outdoor living spaces can really make your home feel larger. Maybe you can make a hangout spot with a pizza oven for entertaining, or a heated and decorated shed for writing and reading.
- Strategic storage: A well-organized space can counteract a lack of storage. You can even use your furniture for storage, if you shop wisely—think an ottoman that opens to store books, or a bed that has drawers for clothes underneath.
Essential #3: A balance of togetherness and privacy.
If you don’t expect your parents to need much health support, you might consider something like a duplex or a separate guest house. This can work well for families who need more privacy.
If either generation needs more support—or if you just want to be ready for the future when that support may be needed—you probably want to be together in one home. This can make privacy a little more of a challenge, but there are still ways to create that balance of privacy and togetherness. Features like separate living rooms, separate kitchens, or separate entrances can help. Even a basic kitchenette can make your arrangement feel more private. Make sure you discuss upfront which spaces will be shared and which will not be.
Essential #4: Accessibility.
Long-term livability is important for the multigenerational home. Think about wheelchair and walker accessibility, whether or not anyone is currently using those tools. Units for aging parents should ideally be on the ground floor. Ramps can replace stairs when necessary, and open-concept layouts and wide doorways can make wheelchair or walker use easier. Make sure bathrooms and showers are accessible, too.
Having a multigenerational home is not always easy, but done right it can be very rewarding. If you’re selling your home or your aging parents’ home to form a multigenerational home, we’d love to help you with the process.
Work with MarketPro
MarketPro Homebuyers has made its name throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania by helping families who want to sell their home quickly and easily. We buy old houses for cash because the property no longer fits the needs of the owners. While we pride ourselves on a providing a headache-free selling process, we also tailor our services to meet your unique needs every step of the way. If you’re building a multigenerational home, we’ll make a fair cash offer for your current home and make the process as painless as possible. Please contact us today to get started!