MultiGenerational Homes! It's often Beyond the Economics

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

We read an Q and A today that really caused us to shake our heads. Fortunately, someone tagged us in a comment to bring the discussion to our attention. We're grateful. Once again, there seems to be a lot of confusion and misinformation about  multigenerational living situations. The question posed was this one: " Do you know 64 Million Americans live in Multigenerational Homes? That's 1 in 5 families." 

Here are some of the responses that surprised us,  

  • " I did not know that."
  • "The higher housing costs, the more it will be this way."
  • "I'm sure we will see more lawsuits where parents are trying to get their deadbeat children to move out. " 
  • "It's a sign of the times - and the times are not getting any easier for many."


The Pew research data has been available since 2016, and interestingly, the number of Americans living in Mulit-gen households has continued to rise despite improvements in the economy. We have been writing about this topic and sharing this data in our blogs for quite a few years now. We even have a wordpress site dedicated to the topic. In fact, we live in a multigenerational home! 


And like the numbers indicate, about 20%-25% of our ViewHomes of Clark County sales are with multigenerational families. What still surprises us, is the general consensus that most families choose this lifestyle for economic reasons - or out of some hardship. 

In our experience, this is simply not the case. Certainly, there are wonderful economic benefits to sharing living expenses. However, the families we work with choose this lifestyle out of love.  They express a desire to share their lives with their children and grandchildren, or their elderly parents, in order to help provide care and spend more time with their favorite people. 


We're guessing there are even more Americans living in multigenerational homes today, than the 2016 numbers indicate. It's worth understanding this lifestyle phenomenon and expanding the initial stereotypical reactions as to why it's gaining in popularity.  Obviously, it's not a living arrangement for everyone, but it's an option worth further exploration and societal support.  



(This article is dedicated to James H Barkley (1929-2018). We enjoyed every minute of of our 11-year multigen experience with dad. We are all richer for the shared moments. And now, we choose to enjoy life with mom.)


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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”.






Re-Blogged 2 times:

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Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD ,

I'm so glad your post was featured. I thought of you when I saw that question asked in the Q & A. These pictures are what I remember you posting before and shows what your multicultural living experience is all about and why you choose your families living arrangement. You are so right privacy and having your own space is key for it to work successful. The rewards are such a blessing. 

Jan 07, 2019 04:33 AM #22
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Debb and Bernie, you said it best - most families choose this lifestyle out of love. I'm really surprised to see that it's often mentioned it's for economic reasons. It only represents about 10% of my business but, my clients have never done it for economic reasons and my parents/grandparents definitely didn't either. It was about being able to provide a better quality of life for ageing parents. We've already got the wheels in motion to do the same for my parents and it has nothing to do with money. I know your Dad is smiling down over all of you. There's so much love in your multi-gen home and it always shows. 

Jan 07, 2019 05:27 AM #23
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I laugh at some of the comments people make when they don't truly know about something and they try to act like they do, haha.  Multi-generation living can be quite wonderful, as you are such a shining example of.  I have known families that love having their kids live with them for however long it takes for them to live life on their own or with someone else.  I have also known families that really enjoy having their parents live with them and share in the family life.  I keep my eye on multi-gen options in my area, as I have quite a few clients that have been interested in that setup or are definitely interested in that setup for the future.

Jan 07, 2019 06:13 AM #26
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Debb, rarely it is about the financial aspect, it is out of love to be with your loved ones until end of life.    You and your family have created that wonderful home to enable all to take care of aging parents.  I have a family now trying to put this together.

Jan 07, 2019 06:22 AM #27
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

We were.. a multi generational home...and we treasure every minute of t that very fortunate time.

Jan 07, 2019 07:17 AM #28
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Debb and Bernie - the reasons,  like most involving real estate, are quite varied.

Jan 07, 2019 07:52 AM #29
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Thanks all for the visit and comments. There are so many facets as to why people choose to purchase a home - or enter a multi-gen situation. It's not enough to assume the whys. 

Jan 07, 2019 10:36 AM #30
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD lately, I am noticing more family live in multigenerational properties, most cases a property consist of a few units.

Jan 07, 2019 04:01 PM #31
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Debb, you know how I feel about multi-generational homes...I grew up in one and consider myself blessed. In fact, both of my nieces sat me down a few years ago and told me that when the time comes, Larry and I would always have a place with them. They had already discussed it with their husbands. 

It was not from an economic standpoint but one born out of a close family connection. 

Jan 07, 2019 04:32 PM #32
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Multi-gen living is an ancient concept.  Only in the modern world do we zone off our parents and children as land planners separate us into sections of towns and cities.  Love is the best reason for it but obviously, there is necessity and economics at play.  Thanks for bringing this subject up.

Jan 07, 2019 06:46 PM #33
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, Debb... I was aware that many multi-gen households are not that because of financial reasons, but I know many people don't realize that and that it is a lifestyle choice for many reasons. I grew up in a multi-gen household, myself... so I know that first-hand. I'm glad that you took the time to write this post and explain it so well.

Jan 08, 2019 04:49 AM #34
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Good Morning Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD 

I'll be looking forward to your series on the subject

I was surprised to learn that around 20% of Americans live in a multi-generational environment. At one point, growing up, my father's mother lived with us. Some engage for economic reasons and others embrace the Walton concept. I don't consider having your kids living with you as multi-generational situation. 

Jan 08, 2019 06:36 AM #35
Ben DeHaven
Haven Realty & Investments - Winter Haven, FL
Proudly serving Winter Haven & Lakeland, Florida

I agree, this will continue to happen. My wife and I are in the process of buying some land with 2 homes on it. The second will be used as an AirBnB until we need it for family. 

Jan 08, 2019 06:41 AM #36
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Great post.

Many Babyboomers are making a shift from "downsizing" to moving to a larger home that is multigenerational compatible.

Many baby-boomers are now called the "sandwich" generation. Their aging parents are welcomed into their home so that they can be well cared for. Also, their children often move back into the house.

In California, they are now building multigenerational communities.

Jan 08, 2019 08:16 AM #37
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hello Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, living in a multi-gen home are mostly out of love for those we care about and has absolutely nothing to do with finances.  Those who don't know the true reasons make comments out if ignorance, nothing else. Your memories will forever be cherished. 

Jan 08, 2019 11:07 AM #38
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

My parents lived with my sisters family and were extremely happy may they rest in peace . It was a perfect living environment for them .  Our family dinners at holidays were cherished times . Cousins and their families were always invited too.

It may not work for everyone but it was a wonderful living arrangement for them . It was a perfect family affair . I miss those days .

Don't knock it until you have lived it

Jan 08, 2019 12:17 PM #39
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Big demand for multi generational housing!  I hear this more and more.  Parents want to live closer to kids as they age, and most are on fixed income.  

Jan 08, 2019 01:54 PM #40
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

We are a multi-generational family living in one home, 3 generations and at one time it was 4. 

Many people think it is something weird and different but actually it is not. I wrote an article about multi-generational households. Many of my friends who are hispanic live like this and always have. It is not something new to them. 

Also, in the U.S. it was totally normal to live in multi-generational households for centuries until after WWII and the 50's. Maybe we are going full circle. 

Jan 08, 2019 03:19 PM #41
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Debb & Bernie, I find so much bad information out there... I would have loved to have our parents live with us.... not for the financial reasons but to be close to them... we could not convince either side of the family.... they wanted to be independent from us, Endre

Jan 08, 2019 11:04 PM #42
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD I so agree. Our multi-gen families are doing so because they chose to live together. We just closed on one a month or so ago and they're building a separate home for the parents towards the back of the property. It's fabulous!

Jan 09, 2019 08:55 AM #43
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REALTORS® in Clark County, WA
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