As I was preparing for my open house today, I was watching CBS Sunday Morning and to my surprise, they were doing a story about The Benefits of Multi-Generational Homes. Wow I thought! Today’s open house was built with forethought that one day the current owner/builder may need a multi-generational home for his family.
The reporter interviewed families who shared a consistent message – the housing needs to today’s families are changing. Independent and assisted living costs for elderly housing are on the rise; so much so that it has become, for many, prohibitively expensive and unaffordable. Our parents and grandparents want to live independently but know that from time to time they may need a little help. Moving in with their children or grandchildren feels like an imposition and a loss of freedom and independence. However, a multi-generational home can provide our parents and grandparents with the independence they want and at the same time a sense of security that family is nearby in case of an emergency.
In addition, some of the families interviewed felt that multi-generational homes enriched their lives and brought their families closer together. Parents and grandparents have opportunities to share knowledge and stories with their children and grandchildren.
Multi-generational homes are not just for aging parents and grandparents. They also benefit the “boomerang generation,” grown children laden with student loan debt who need to time to save money before they can move out on their own.
A multi-generational home can bring together two, three, and sometimes four generations. The concept of multi-generational homes is not new. Not long ago, in the 20th century several generations often lived together under the same roof. Growing up in New York City I had friends whose grandparents lived on the first floor of a tri-level brownstone and whose parents lived upstairs or next door in a duplex. My grandmother lived with us until she passed and I believe my life is richer because of everything she taught and shared with me.
Just maybe, the old saying, “what’s old is new again” is making a comeback in multi-generational homes.