Late boomers, like myself, are busy people. We’re still raising kids or about to send them off to college. Many of us are at the apex of our careers or juggling fast-paced schedules at home for everyone in the family. Adding to the fever pitch, we’re often already caring for aging parents.
Multi-generational homes, a trend that became more popular as a way to endure the Great Recession, continues to grow for completely different reasons. Extended families are coming together under the same roof by choice, as a way to spread around the physical and emotional demands associated with caring for an elder while also sharing the financial responsibilities.
This increasingly common homestead can come in many shapes and sizes. Each family’s circumstances will have unique implications for how realtors search for just the right property that will satisfy multiple needs. Here are some options for families considering moving in together:
- Sell two homes to combine generations into one large home
- Look for separate entrances and more than one kitchen, or the ability to install a small kitchen, in different wings or levels of the house
- Build a backyard cottage fully equipped and appointed for aging adults
- Have one generation move closer to, but live separately from, the other generation
- Avoid homes with stairs, slick floors and small doorways for safety
- Work to establish degrees of privacy for all members of the household
- Outline who pays for what well ahead of putting a plan into motion
Interdependence within the extended family is how people have lived for centuries all over the world. It can make perfect sense for many reasons, but it’s not right for every family. Weigh the options carefully, and be realistic about your own abilities, limitations and true desires.