The expectation that couples, adult children, and grandparents will all end up living in a separate home is now being challenged. The traditional cycle was to move out after college or highschool, get married, start a family and buy a home, while parents and grandparents downsize.
The boomerang generation is now becoming more prominent in many population centres across North America. A growing number of people are moving back with their parents and/or opening up their home for their aging parents. And this is because of both economic and cultural factors.
Economically, people are faced with higher prices for real estate, child care, university tuition, and general costs of living – especially real estate, at least in the GTA. Culturally, changes are occurring in the average life expectancy. In addition, extended family is moving into homes which a cultural tendency of foreign immigrants in particular.
The multi-generational living shift is affecting the real estate industry. Some modern homes are being built especially for multigenerational families, with separated wings for extended family. These separate wings can have their own kitchenettes, living rooms, bathrooms and laundry.
In the US, nearly 1 in 5 people live in a multi-generational living arrangement, and this trend is likely to increase. Planning real estate purchases around the potential for multi-generational living will become an increasingly important activity. A big consideration might be the potential for an existing house to add custom renovations, that may require specific zoning requirements and lot sizes.
Ample space will be the key requirement for multi-generational living. You want to be fighting over the bathroom with grandma.
Photo Courtesy of Obra Shalom Campo Grande