Home Ownership Still Trumps Apartment Life—Especially IF there's a Spot for Grandma!

Real Estate Agent with Boardman Realty Minnesota License#90858

Homebuyers for Multigenerational Acreage Homes

Minnesota Acreage Home by Teri Eckholm REALTORWhen I started selling real estate over a decade ago, one of my very first clients was a family: mom, dad, two daughters, three horse AND a grandma! My goal as a REALTOR® was to find a home on acreage that accommodates horses within the Forest Lake School District that had a mother-in-law apartment for grandma. There weren’t too many options at the time. Sure the market was overloaded with McMansions on small lots but few homes were designed to accommodate a multigenerational family with horses. We did eventurally find a Scandia home that would work…but it was not ideal. About a year later, an administrator at my sons’ school had a discussion with me about the difficulties his family was having finding a home in the Mahtomedi school district that would have a special place for his mother-in-law.  There was no need for acreage for this family, yet they were struggling to find a home that met their multigenerational needs too.
Over the years I have seen single family homes with mother-in-law apartments scattered throughout Anoka, Chisago and Washington Counties. Not too many homebuyers were impressed by a second kitchen in the basement unless they were truly looking to have a separate home within their home. Yet, on more than one occasion, I have had clients seeking such a house; one that accommodates a returning college student, a relocating relative or an adult child with grandchildren.
I was reading a Forbes.com article about how home ownership still trumps apartment life this morning…Don’t Bet Against the (Single Family) House. I was pleasantly surprised that many builders are now recognizing a trend toward the multigenerational home. Due to the changed economy, it is often a way to the pool resources of family members while continuing to give everyone their own space. The thing I like most about this trend is that homes will be designed specifically to include the separate living space. Most of the homes that I have viewed over the years with a mother-in-law apartment were a turn off because the space was ill conceived by the owner. The home was originally designed as a single family home but due to family circumstances the home was altered to include a kitchen, bedroom, laundry, bath and separate entrance…and viola, “we have an apartment for mom!” Unfortunately, these poor designs don’t sell well.
As a REALTOR® will be watching to see the floor plans of these new multigenerational homes. Hopefully, the floor plans will be adopted by builders on Minnesota acreage so if families moving with grandma and the horses will have more options than before!


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Teri Eckholm. REALTOR with Boardman Realty, is a native Minnesotan who has lived and worked in the Minneapolis St Paul metro all of her life. She specializes in lakeshore homes, acreage properties and first time home buyers but assists anyone making a move in the north and east Twin Cities metro.

If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give Teri , a call or visit her website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report She specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

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Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

I believe there will be a greater request for multi-generational properties in the future.

Feb 29, 2012 03:00 AM #1
Lee & Carol Barbour, REALTORS
Murphy and Hayesville, NC; Hiawassee, Blairsville, Blue Ridge GA and Copperhill TN - Murphy, NC
Mountain Living Team in Murphy NC and North GA

Multigenerational homes are being sought out in our market by retires wanting a separate living space in the lower level for family and friends visiting. And you never know when a family member will need to move in theses days!

Feb 29, 2012 11:01 AM #2
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!


I see those as well; nice to see families with multi generations in the house

Mar 03, 2012 06:22 AM #3
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Teri Eckholm

REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro
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