Multi-generational living is becoming more and more prevalent these days. According to Pew Research, today 20% of the population lives in a multi-generational arrangement. The study defines this kind of living situation as, “two or more adult generations, or including grandparents and grandchildren under 25,” under the same roof. Finding the right multi-generational home for your family is tricky but with planning you can easily find the perfect house.


Typically, the reasons for multi-generational living situations involve finances and health. That can be a grandparent unable to live on their own moving in with a parent or a young adult moving back in with their parents after a job loss. In some cases both scenarios are at play. Having a multi-generational living arrangement isn’t for everyone and requires the right home. Having extended family members under one roof requires the capacity to accommodate a wide variety of lifestyles. Everyone’s needs must be taken into account. 



Assess everyone’s needs


multi-generational home



When creating a multi-generational space for your family, keep in mind that more people means more people sharing that space. That requires more communication and negotiation. Different people will want different kinds of privacy.


In some cases, a young adult sharing the space may want their own private entrance while an elderly person may prefer an in-law suite


Consider what kind of other accommodations you will need to make in your home, or if you will need to buy a new home. Will you need to install a ramp for the elderly members living in the house? What will you do about parking if each party has their own car? Do you need to build a carport? 


What about cooking? Will each member of your family share all the food or will you have separate stashes? Consider scheduling meals, are you all going to eat together or will you eat on your own time? These are all factors to consider when living in a multi-generational situation. 


Figure out what kind of boundaries you will have to ensure that each person’s privacy is taken into consideration.



Financial responsibilities

Whether you’re simply adding more people into your current home or buying a brand new home, financial responsibilities will need to be negotiated. Decide who is going to be responsible for things like the mortgage and utilities and how that those various payments will be divided up among people living in the house. If you’re buying a new house for your family, keep in mind that the only people who should be on the application are those who can afford to help pay back the loan. Lenders will take into account everyone one the application and their financial situation. Figure into your budget how much each person can contribute before you make any decisions.  Make sure the people with the best credit and the best financials are on the application to get the best loan deal possible. 


Even things like who pays for utilities, how groceries are split up, and who will pay for any remodels need to be taken into account.



Finding the right multi-generational home


multi-generational house


In some situations you will be easily able to remodel your home to suit the needs of your family. Sometimes however, you may need to buy a new home. You may look to buying a fixer-upper with the idea that you will remodel it to be a multi-generational house. 


In the event you look to buy a new home, consider that multiple people in your family may first need to sell their current home. Keep up with the state of the market to ensure you sell at the most optimal time. Depending on where they are selling and the state of their housing market it may take longer to sell. If you need to sell your house quickly, consider selling to a wholesaler to speed up the process. 


Depending on your budget, some major home builders now even offer multi-generational floor plans. Once you have come up with a good idea of the amenities you will need for your family home, find a good real estate agent and be sure to give them as much detail about your family’s needs as possible. One tip is to look for homes with multiple master suites. Think about making rooms in the house multi-purpose rooms. For example, a playroom for kids can double as an office for young adult to work from home. This allows you to maximize space and cater to different people’s need.


Sometimes you may end up purchasing a house and building a detached in-law  suite in the backyard. This can even be done on your current property if you don’t want to buy a new house. 



Final advice

Creating a multi-generational home space requires lots of accommodation and constant communication. When living with extended family members spanning across generations, everyone’s needs must be taken into account. Having your family all under one roof won’t be a breeze immediately but with through negotiation and carefully drawn boundaries, you’re family can be live in harmony in one house.