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Newman says: "In the past, you raised children so you could send them out on their own. Now, families are discovering a comfort zone that comes from living together and getting to know one another as people."
How times have changed (again) . . .
"Back in the 1940s and 1950s, the common advice was to cut what was called 'the silver cord," says Stephanie Coontz, a professor of history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.
"Don't take your parents in, experts warned. Don't even remain very close to them. Focus on your own nuclear families."
I think that there has been a rediscovery of the importance of inter-generational ties in recent years, partly perhaps because marriages have become more fragile, partly because adult kids often delay marriage long enough so that they socialize more with their parents in their 20s, and partly because more democratic and individualized child-rearing values have led to a greater sense of closeness.
Multi-generational homes have also been formed out of family financial crises, with job losses and imploding retirement investments driving adult children and their parents to once again live under the same roof.
Some home movers are resorting to more original means and are boosting their buying power by bringing the in-laws, grandparents and children together under one roof and it is an idea that is gaining credibility fast.
Research conducted by Halifax Home Insurance found that 25% consider the financial advantages of pooling resources are reason enough to buy with family members.
It's an especially compelling prospect for a first-time buyer unable to get a mortgage on their own. More incomes on the loan application form mean potentially bigger borrowings - and a combined savings pot potentially means a bigger deposit, the main barrier to solo home ownership.
And what often begins as a short-term stay evolves into a long-term living arrangement. Many families find the pros of shared accommodation
close proximity to aging family members
and built-in babysitting :)
outweigh the cons
occasional friction and
finding oneself in a queue for the bathroom
AARP provided a nine-point checklist to help families, and older family members in particular, achieve success:
1. Prepare your home. Does your home work for everyone, young and old? Can your house accommodate someone who might find climbing stairs a challenge or who might need a walk-in shower or a single-handle faucet?
2. Prepare your family. Have regular family conferences to discuss issues before they become problems. Before moving in together, ask family members of all ages to talk about how they expect life to change, including what they want, what they are excited about, and what they're nervous about.
3. A place for everyone and everyone in their place. Decide how the living space in your home will be used.
4. Let them live their own lives. This is important whether older household members are highly active and independent or if they are being cared for. Opportunities to see friends, continue activities they enjoy, and have downtime are important at any age.
5. Get in a groove. Consistency will help minimize the inevitable disruptions. Keep to routines such as mealtimes and bedtime rituals.
6. Make a play date. Facilitate grandparent-grandchild interactions.
7. Don't get caught in the middle. Often, parents are in no-man's-land trying to please the older and younger generations. You can't be expected to take care of everyone if you are running on empty.
8. Be realistic. Only so much furniture can fit in a house. People can only be expected to change so much over a lifetime. Teens are going to want to hang out with their grandparents only so much. Elders will be willing to handle only a certain volume level on the stereo. There are only 24 hours in a day. And you can be in only one place at a time, no matter how much everyone needs you.
9. Make memories. Capitalize on the opportunities you have with multiple generations in the household. Have fun and treasure the time.
If you are contemplating a multi-generational living option in the Gananoque, Kingston, 1000 Islands area, I currently have 2 properties available for sale that both have 2 bedroom in-law suites with separate entrances.
Give me a call and I can arrange a personal showing for you.
If you're thinking about selling, I'd love to meet with you and provide a Market Analysis and go over my Marketing Plan - it is the little things that make the difference.**
Susan Emo Sales Representative, Sotheby's International Realty Canada, Brokerage* Kingston, Ontario
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.