Multigenerational homes becoming more popular for aging buyers, report says

by Claire Fountas


As inventory tightens and Baby Boomers begin to age, more Americans are turning to multigenerational homebuying. According to the reNEWable Living Home survey conducted by Builder magazine, multigenerational homes have proven to be easier on the wallet while also allowing buyers to spend more quality time with family members.

Multigenerational homebuying — a universal trend decades ago — is once again gaining traction nationwide, primarily for financial reasons. The April survey recorded data from respondents either living in or currently shopping for a multigenerational home and found that 45.2 percent of potential buyers seek homes with discrete living options, and half of them are willing to pay between $200,000 and $400,000 on average for a multigenerational home.

According to Pew Research, more than one-fifth of aging Americans actually live in this type of home as of 2014. Increased buyer competition across the country paired with a surge in median home values makes multigenerational buying all the more appealing. However, a variety of additional factors come into play when a buyer chooses to place two different adult generations under one roof.

It’s about more than just money

Providing physical assistance and care to an older family member comes as a close second reason for purchasing a multigenerational home. In fact, 60 percent of respondents stated the purchase is for their aging parents. The study found multigenerational living to be a more popular choice than other options, such as assisted living and retirement communities. According to the report, respondents especially enjoy the close proximity to trusted family members and the convenience of shared space. Additionally, 73 percent of respondents plan to stay in their multigenerational home even after these features are no longer necessary.

A rise in millennial renters also contributes to more multigenerational homebuying, according to BUILDER. While millennials do generally hope to leave their childhood home, many of them wouldn’t mind temporarily living under the roof of “another mom and dad,” according to research by Trulia economist Cameron Simmons. The study found tens of thousands of homes have as many as 3.6 million open rooms with the potential to serve as rental options. For a generation hoping to pair independence with affordability, renting a room is becoming an increasingly feasible option.


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