A Financial & Lifestyle Solution to Rising Prices
Although your home may have housed a traditional family consisting of a mom, dad and two kids, savvy real estate agents will tell you that in order to attract more buyers, staging your house as one fit for multi-generations is the way to go. A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center states that a record 57 million Americans (18.1% of the U.S. population) were living in multi-generational households.
This trend is coming from all directions. Young adults are moving back home, the elderly are moving in with their middle-age children and middle-aged children are moving back with their elderly parents.
Homes geared specifically to multigenerational buyers are on the cutting edge of design. They often include self-contained, apartment-like living areas with a bedroom, a full bath, a kitchenette, a separate entrance and sometimes a laundry room and garage. Although the western states, especially California, are ahead of the curve, these multigenerational floorplans are gradually making their way east.
As a result, agents are highlighting features such as finished walkout basements and bonus bedrooms. When it’s being suggested to transform your office or basement into a bedroom, you should be listening. Any home that contains bonus space is a viable candidate for a buyer who might be planning to bring an ill or out-of-work family member back into the fold. A home’s accessibility is important for people who might be living with aging parents who use wheelchairs or walkers. Creating a complete, accessible living space on one level with safety features can make a home attractive to people of all ages.
If you are thinking of adding a lock-off suite within the walls of your single-family home, you may consider adding a kitchenette or service bar with a sink, a fridge and a convection microwave oven, but not a range and oven. That’s because some municipalities classify a home as a duplex if the kitchenette has full-size cooking appliances.
A convection microwave is versatile enough for most types of cooking, not to mention dozens of countertop appliances, such as crockpots, woks and toaster ovens. A kitchenette, by design, is relatively small because it’s meant for one or two people. A range would take up space better utilized for storage cabinets.
While communal living isn’t for everyone, new multigenerational homes can help minimize friction and promote more positive experiences. Grandparents and grandchildren develop a stronger bond. Parents have more peace of mind knowing that the grandparents aren’t alone. They can even get away by themselves occasionally, since Grandpa and Grandma can look after the kids. It’s a financial solution, but it’s also a lifestyle solution.