The Differences Between a Multi-Generational and Single-Family Home
Perhaps the most daunting challenge when creating a multi-generational home is achieving the ideal balance between space and privacy.
For example, aging parents that move in with their adult children want to maintain as independent of a lifestyle as possible without “invading the territory” of the other household members. And young adults who move back home certainly want to live as separately as possible from their parents.
Therefore, it’s often necessary to make some home renovations to create adequate living space and ensure everyone still has their privacy. Typically, rooms such as the kitchen, living room and dining room are communal areas, just like in a single-family home.
The bedroom area is where most modifications occur, as options include dividing bedrooms into separate wings or installing en suite, master-style bathrooms in each bedroom. If practical, the homeowner can install a private outside entrance in the bedroom to make it feel more like living in a self-contained home.
In cases where space is at a premium, it may be necessary to build an addition onto the home. Whether homeowners expect the new living arrangements to be temporary or permanent can be a deciding factor when determining the extent of any home renovations.
What Are the Benefits of Multi-Generational Homes?
Establishing a multi-generational home can create some upfront expenses and often requires a lengthy adjustment period for all household members. However, it can offer several benefits:
- Caring for loved ones: Adult children can be more devoted caregivers of aging parents with health issues, giving the entire family peace of mind.
- Sharing expenses: From a financial perspective, a multi-generational home can help all household occupants reduce their living expenses. They can share the cost of items such as the mortgage or rent payments, utilities, food, appliances, homeowner’s insurance and more.
- Managing a crisis: These days, adult children sometimes move back home during a life crisis such as a job loss, divorce or business failure. This gives them time to get their life back together, and they can also help with chores and other household responsibilities.
- Strengthening family ties: Families often grow apart when the members live in separate households. When they move back under the same roof, they can forge stronger bonds that last a lifetime. Grandparents who have lost their life partners can also find solace and avoid loneliness by living with family.