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Multigenerational Homes: The Empty Nest, Re-feathered
For the past 20 years or so, we’ve been seeing a growing trend in home buying. More people are living in homes with two or more generations of adults. Between 2000 and 2016, the number of multigenerational households rose almost 51%, representing about 20% of all households. Whether grandparents are moving in or grown kids are moving back—or both!— multigenerational homes present a new look for the American lifestyle, like the empty nest, re-feathered!
Aging in (a happier) place
Baby Boomers might remember an advertising campaign for the now-defunct Oldsmobile. Back in the late 1980s, when automobile manufacturers were trying to capture the Boomer buyer, this campaign aimed to excite them with “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile.” The idea was to differentiate a brand that was associated with older buyers to attract the massive population of Boomers.
And it worked.
Today, the same Boomers are continuing to shop and live differently than their parents did. Now that a majority have reached retirement years, they’re looking at experiencing the 55+ years as active adults. No retirement homes for this generation (born between 1946 and 1964, and currently numbering about 71.6 million Americans). They’ve worked hard and are ready to reap the rewards. Their parents might have chosen a quiet life of leisure that included down-sizing their home, possibly moving to assisted living, but Baby Boomers are out for fun with their freedom. They’re not slowing down, but shifting gears.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic, however, presented some harsh realities. The coronavirus posed the greatest threat to people aged 65 and older. The number of COVID-19 cases is frighteningly high in these types of elderly living situations. Some of these aging Americans chose assisted living to give them a comfortable place to live and the convenience of provided services. Others might have required nursing homes with more care, but it has become a risky living situation that families just can’t bear.
The solution? Bring Mom and Dad into your home. American families are following the tradition that is common in many other cultures, where multiple generations live under one roof. This expanded family gives grandparents more time with their children and grandchildren and provides the homeowners with the peace of mind that their parents are well cared for, along with the added perk of live-in babysitters.
This choice also makes financial sense. Assisted living can cost upward of $5,000 per month. In one year, a resident pays $60,000 for a modest space. If those funds were instead invested in expanding a home by adding an extra suite, these aging adults could live far more comfortably. In addition, the home’s resale value rises.
A second owner’s suite on the first floor gives the older generation a comfortable place of their own. Kettler Forlines Homes came up with what we call a “family guest home”. This suite is an extension of the home, not a separate residence, although it feels like one! We include a bedroom, full bath, living/dining area, kitchenette, and a laundry closet. This second suite in our multigenerational homesalso has a private entrance, a popular feature for anyone who wants more independence.
“Mom, I’m home!”
The other side of this multigenerational living situation is the Millennial factor. These people, born roughly between 1980 and 2000, are adults. Unlike previous generations over the past 130 years, this group is far more likely to live with their parents beyond the age of 21. In fact, 33% of Millennials between 25 and 29 live with their parents.
Some of the reasons that they are trying to pay off school loans. Others are saving up money to buy their own home. As the pandemic’s shutdown caused job losses, we expect to see more Millennials move back with their parents as they rebuild their employment and financial situations.
While you can certainly welcome your kids home to their childhood bedroom, they would certainly appreciate living space that’s more suitable to adults. You can opt for the family guest house or choose a second-floor suite. Floor plans like The Dickerson and The Somerset easily accommodate a second owner's suite upstairs.
How is your home living up to your family's needs? If you see the value of a multigenerational home, Kettler Forlines Homes has ideas to spark your imagination. Our growing community in Poolesville, MD, The Reserve at Brightwell Crossing is ideal for families of all ages. The Poolesville school system is amazing. Then add in the convenient proximity to quality healthcare, shopping, dining, and all the other services you need and want.
Look ahead and plan now for the multigenerational family life and all the benefits it heaps on you. Get in touch with George Neill at Kettler Forlines Homes to get started.