Thursday, August 20, 2020

Multi-Generational Living Spiking in the US

It’s becoming more and more popular for two and three generations of families to be living together under one roof or in ADUs on the same property.

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There is a resurgence of multi-generational living with people in a few different situations keeping more than one generation in the same household. In certain situations, it is common for three to four generations living together.

Modular home builders and their factories should be looking at this new ‘normal’ for added new home sales.

Many adults are opening their homes to their elderly parents rather than having them live alone or sending them to an assisted living facility. Some families are purposely inviting grandparents to live with them for convenient in-home child care. 

COVID-19 has forced online and homeschooling on a lot of families and having a grandparent living with the family can be a benefit for all three generations.

Also, children who have grown and moved out of their parents home are often returning, sometimes with partners and children. Today that is becoming the "new norm" for many that have lost their jobs due to the pandemic of 2020.

The result of these varying scenarios is that an antiquated, once necessary, housing option is redefined by a forward-thinking conscious choice to share lives. One major upside to multi-generational living is sharing expenses.

These multi-generational homes are living spaces that provide an atmosphere for parents, grandparents and children to grow older together by incorporating a custom, private suite design for extra family to visit or stay.

Less expensive than a more traditional duplex home, these multi-generational homes are split into two levels.

This living together trend isn’t so much a new one, but a resurging concept in housing and homeownership.

Families living under one roof was once the norm in America. Then, after World War II the U.S. economy fully transitioned from agrarian to industrial manufacturing. Returning service men and women moved to the cities to take advantage of education provided by the G.I. Bill and jobs created by the manufacturing economy.

Pent up demand for consumer goods after the Great Depression and the war along with greater prosperity made owning single-family homes possible.

Also, life expectancy then was not what it is today. Today, people live longer and stay healthier decades longer than their ancestors.

Additionally, the economic reality is that the dollar does not go nearly as far as it once did. In these times, two and three generations living together sharing lives and expenses under one roof is practical and affordable.

Separate entrances, lounging areas and kitchens allow both parties an independent lifestyle, even while residing under the same roof.

We are starting to see ADUs being put in backyards, additions added to homes and basements remodeled into living space.

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Once again, the modular housing industry is ready with ADUs from companies like Urbaneer and two story additions for ranch homes, another way modular construction leads the way.

Gary Fleisher is a housing veteran, editor/writer of the, blogs and the ‘coming soon’, Construction Consultant’s Directory. 


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