Multi-Generational Homes and Lifestyles in Clark County, WA

Real Estate Broker/Owner with ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors

MultiGen Homes and Lifestyles 

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.


  1. Consult a family trust attorney to help determine home ownership percentages and what happens in the event someone wants to move, or dies.
  2. Communication is key. Honest and regular exchanges prevent misunderstandings and missteps.
  3. 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.
  4. Private space. Everyone needs their own space. The more spacious the living quarters, the better for all.
  5. Respect personality differences and honor, or establish boundaries.
  6. Flexibility – especially with children or elderly family members.
  7. Soothing surroundings. We love our rural lifestyle and know that living next to nature keeps us grounded, even during stressful times.
  8. Try to get regular exercise, eat well, and get enough rest. You have to take care of yourself to help care for others.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

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ViewHomes™ grew out of our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. Starting together in an urban environment, over the years we've gravitated towards areas with smaller populations and less density. We now enjoy our lifestyle in a rural environment, but with close proximity to metropolitan areas where we appreciate all the amenities of fine restaurants, shopping, and an easy drive to an international airport.
Living in ViewHomes™ is like having “elbowroom for the soul”.

314 NE Cedar Street
Camas, WA  98607





Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS 02/27/2018 08:19 AM
  2. Roy Kelley 05/02/2018 01:00 AM
  3. Gabe Sanders 03/12/2018 11:00 PM
Real Estate General Information
Washington Clark County
Posts to Localism
Building Your Niche
Clark County Real Estate Professionals
"Branding" in the Rain
family dynamics
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mutigenerational homes

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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Love the wonderful tips you shared and lovely picture.  I especially like the one about laughter...Happy Monday.  A

Feb 26, 2018 12:43 PM #1
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - these are great tips ... consulting with a trust attorney is a must, in my opinion.  We all want to live in harmony. It takes the perfect combination of family to make this living arrangement work.  You have mastered it.  

And laughter .... another must.  It's food for the soul. 

Here you go Carol Williams for your second chance.

Feb 26, 2018 01:58 PM #2
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Sitterle Homes - Richmond, TX
Sitterle Homes


 Really good tips to share and smart ones too! It is hard to watch your parents age! I know! Have a great evening!

Feb 26, 2018 03:28 PM #3
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

You are totally, without question, the authority on this subject...setting the perfect example with your own family!

Feb 26, 2018 04:40 PM #4
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Debb- you know how I feel about this! The key that you point out is to work everything out BEFORE you move in. Larry and I both need our ME time so that would be key for us if we had someone living with us.

Feb 26, 2018 07:46 PM #5
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for sharing the great tips. I do not see many multi generational homes in my market.

Feb 27, 2018 01:52 AM #6
Carol Williams
U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business. - Wenatchee, WA
"Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services"

Hi Debb,
You have some awesome insights into the multi-generational niche!  Thanks for sharing.   

I can vouch for the following. A sense of humor has diffused many tense situations in my life:
Remember to laugh, often. A sense of humor goes a long way in any relationship or household.

Feb 27, 2018 06:39 AM #7
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Funny that you say 4 years ago, Debb.  4+ years ago when we built our home, we built it in anticipation of being multi-generational at some point down the road. We've had one of our millennials here for a few months before a major out-of-state move and the downstairs (private suite) is ready, in waiting, for the grandparents when they're ready. 

We just need to add the rest of the items on your list when they move in and laughter will definitely be one of them!

Feb 27, 2018 06:46 AM #8
Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
Front Gate Realty ~ 601-991-2900 Office

When I was younger I NEVER would have considered a multi-generational home. Now that I'm older and wiser, it makes sense in many situations. Currently I have two family members living with me and it's working perfectly, although it is a temporary situation. We didn't establish ground rules so I'm lucky it is going well. This is a valuable topic that will help many people who are considering multi-gen housing.

Feb 27, 2018 08:19 AM #9
Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Debb, great advice, and with many multi-generational families deciding to share the same roof, hope they read your comments!  

Feb 27, 2018 08:20 AM #10
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

In Sacramento, prices are getting so out of hand that the only way some people can afford to buy a home is if they go in on the purchase with family members and they all live together. I'm not seeing a lot of these people consulting a lawyer for guidance to avoid future disputes, but that's a great idea, Debb!!

Feb 27, 2018 09:36 AM #11
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and your advice.

Feb 27, 2018 11:17 AM #12
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Great tips, Debb, to ease the multi-generational lifestyle. It's how I grew up. But in my market still not seeing much of it, nor housing being built to accommodate it. It will be interesting to see what the next decades brings.

Feb 27, 2018 12:31 PM #13
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Debb,  Excellent blog and one that more people should look in to.  Thanks for sharing.


Feb 27, 2018 12:36 PM #14
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - Unfortunately, there are no relatives of mine left in that generational category; however, I must say, I continuously admire the two of you and how knowledgeable you are in this Generational Buying department. Those 10 points are so important to know. It could be on a wall in every Attorney' office and Broker's office too. Your genuine love and passion/compassion for seniors is so heartwarming and sincere. You could write a book and it would probably be on the best seller's list. Keep doing what you're doing. Millennials need to know and seniors will appreciate it too. I greatly appreciate the two of you. 

Feb 27, 2018 01:41 PM #15
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

The picture that you shared is really touching, I love kids and elderly, so seeing moments like this really touches me!  You are certainly the expert to turn to when it comes to multi-generational homes!

Feb 27, 2018 04:47 PM #16
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

It’s like multigenerational homes pass on the vibe in the spirit of how the home is

Feb 27, 2018 11:55 PM #17
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Thanks Debb and Bernie.  More and more families are finding themselves in these types of living situations.

Mar 04, 2018 04:42 AM #18
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

It is a tradition in many cultures that has taken a while to become more prevalent in some parts of the country.

Mar 13, 2018 04:56 AM #19
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Good morning, Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD how did I miss this one.... what a great topic and very realistic about what families are experiencing today.... 

May 02, 2018 05:34 AM #20
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD

REALTORS® in Clark County, WA
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