Housing Trend Has Home Builders Hammering: Multi-generational Homes Up

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Lennar Home Builders announces Next Gen multi-generational homes are up and available in more states, following the Pew Research Center report that approximately 51 million Americans live in a home with at least two adult generations. Home Destination, a Minneapolis professional Realtor with RE/MAX Results, comments on the growing trend and how families are finding that multi-generational housing is good for relationships.

Twin Cities multi-generational families that love living togehte

Families That Love Living Together

"It used to be older people whose money had run out who were living with their children, and now it's the next generation that can't keep up." ~ Louis Tenenbaum, a founder of the Aging in Place Institute

Lennar Homes, a national home builder, is taking the lead by debuting new construction Next Gen, or multi-generational homes, in several cities: now in Minneapolis, Charlotte and Seattle to name a few. Called a "home within a home", they represent creative collections of floor plans designed specifically for multi-generational families who choose to live under one roof with separate living spaces.

"From the home's exterior, multi-generational homes look like any other single-family house on the block. However, inside, the home consists of a separate apartment-like living quarters, typically featuring a bedroom, bathroom, living area and kitchenette", says Jenna Thuening, owner of Home Destination. "Families looking for multi-generational homes say it is good for relationships and are pleased when they find arrangements that are less crowded and offer maximum privacy."

Ranging from 3,101 to more than 4,058 square feet, unveiled in Minnesota on Sept 4, 2012, Next Gen homes are intentionally designed to meet the evolving desires of home buyers, additionally helping to reduce the costs of senior living. The increasing number of families which have extended family members sharing living quarters under the same roof are thrilled with greater options.

According to Pew Research survey findings, the effect of multi-generational housing is more positive than negative:

  • Overall, 34% of adults ages 18 to 34 who live with their parents or move backed in temporarily because of economic conditions say that living with their parents at this stage of life has been good for the relationship.
  • 18% say this has been bad for their relationship with their parents
  • 47% say it hasn’t made any difference.
  • Fully 41% of these 18- to 24-year-olds say living at home at this stage of life has been good for their relationship with their parents.
  • Young adults ages 18 to 24 tend to give the most upbeat overviews of how living at home has positively benefited their relationship with their parents.
  • Compared with adults who live with others, older adults who live by themselves are less likely to enjoy some of the good things about getting older. Nearly six-in-ten older Americans who live alone say that they have more time with their family versus 76% of older adults who live with others.
  • Among older Americans who have grandchildren, 65% who live alone spend enjoyable time with their grandchildren. 78% of adults living with others have more time with their grandchildren.
  • Older adults living by themselves actively engage hobbies and interests less and are less likely to do volunteer work or get involved in their community than those who do not live alone. There by, they have fewer relationships and express higher levels of loneliness.

"Some Minneapolis home builders have begun offering two master suites, a den or family room that can be converted into a bedroom and bathroom on the first floor, and additional 'flexible space'. We see more demand from potential home buyers for such conveniences - as they may come in handy for any family", comments Thuening.

Home Destination found 4 main reasons in the report for the uptick in the number of multi-generational families:

1. Singles wait 5 Years longer before marriage - The typical man now marries for the first time at age 28 and the typical women at age 26. For both genders, this is about five years older than it was in 1970.

2. Increase in immigrant households who perhaps in part to ease transitions to a new home and new country, modern immigrants are far more inclined than native-born Americans to choose multi-generational family households. Often it was a more common practice "back home" and they simply set up home in the U.S. in the same manor as in their country of origin.

3. Job transitions and economic pressures, driven in part by the job losses in the recent years of economic downturn.

4. Families losing their home to foreclosure.

Additionally, an April AARP article titled "3 Generations Under One Roof" reports that a 2012 survey by PulteGroup Home Builders discovered that 32 percent of adult children expect to eventually share their house with a parent. AARP states that multi-generational homes are perfect for an aging parent and that they are typically one-fifth the size of the main house. Occupants enjoy having an adjoining inner door which can be left open so the house can be one big home or, when closed, two residences.

Real estate buyers seeking more advice or guidance from a Minneapolis residential Realtor for buying a single-family homes ideal for multi-generational needs, may reach Home Destination at 612-396-7832. Jenna Thuening is a dedicated real estate professional who goes the extra mile to help buyers find just the right home.

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