We keep reading new articles about a growing trend in U.S. housing needs, Multigenerational homes. It makes us chuckle, as we’ve been specializing in these types of properties for nearly four years. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2014, about 19% (60.6 million people), lived in a multi-gen home. We’re fairly certain those numbers are higher today. Obviously, it’s not a lifestyle for everyone, and family dynamics have to line up to make it a successful option. We all want to live in harmony.
Our multi-gen home is a bit unusual, as we have three couples living in one property – my sister and her husband, our elderly parents, and us. While we technically share one roof, our large home enables the two younger couples to live privately. However, the two of us do share a wing of our home with my parents. Ideally, mom and dad would live in a separate cottage. Dad’s dwindling health ( he has dementia and congestive heart failure) and mom’s advancing age, she will be 91 in August, sidetracked our original plan.
Multigenerational Living Tips
After two and half years of this living arrangement, we have discovered some pretty important basics for families to follow.
- Consult a family trust attorney to help determine home ownership percentages and what happens in the event someone wants to move, or dies.
- Communication is key. Honest and regular exchanges prevent misunderstandings and missteps.
- Prepare a financial outline before moving in together. For example, how the bills are paid, how the repairs are handled, and how to give credit for renovations. You get the idea.
- Private space. Everyone needs their own space. The more spacious the living quarters, the better for all.
- Respect personality differences and honor, or establish boundaries.
- Flexibility – especially with children or elderly family members.
- Soothing surroundings. We love our rural lifestyle and know that living next to nature keeps us grounded, even during stressful times.
- Try to get regular exercise, eat well, and get enough rest. You have to take care of yourself to help care for others.
- Schedule shared fun. Whether it’s a dinner out, a family movie, or just sitting around the outdoor fire-pit, look for ways to enjoy one another.
- Remember to laugh, often. A sense of humor goes a long way in any relationship or household.
It’s no coincidence, our specialty – “ViewHomes with “nature as neighbors and elbow room for the soul ™”- works well for Multi-gen households, too. Call us today, we enjoy sharing our first hand experiences with others about this rewarding lifestyle. Plus, we are the only REALTORS® in Clark County who specialize in Multi-generational properties.