From Empty Nest to Full House .. Multigenerational family living is back!
Multigenerational homes are coming back in a big way! In the 1950s, about 21%, or 32.2 million Americans shared a roof with their grown children or parents. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, the number of multigenerational homes dropped to as low as 12% in 1980 but has shot back up to 19%, roughly 60.6 million people, as recently as 2014.
Multigenerational households typically occur when adult children (over the age of 25) either choose to, or need to, remain living in their parent’s home, and then have children of their own. These households also occur when grandparents join their adult children and grandchildren in their home.
According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 11% of home buyers purchased multigenerational homes last year. The top 3 reasons for purchasing this type of home were:
- To take care of aging parents (19%)
- Cost savings (18%, up from 15% last year)
- Children over the age of 18 moving back home (14%, up from 11% last year)
Donna Butts, Executive Director of Generations United, points out that, “As the face of America is changing, so are family structures. It shouldn’t be a taboo or looked down upon if grown children are living with their families or older adults are living with their grown children.”
For a long time, nuclear families (a couple and their dependent children) became the accepted norm, but John Graham, co-author of “Together Again: A Creative Guide to Successful Multigenerational Living,” says, “We’re getting back to the way human beings have always lived in – extended families.”
Why the Shift To Multigenerational Living?
This shift can be attributed to several social changes over the decades. Growing racial and ethnic diversity in the U.S. population helps explain some of the rise in multigenerational living. The Asian and Hispanic populations are more likely to live in multigenerational family households and these two groups are growing rapidly.
Additionally, women are a bit more likely to live in multigenerational conditions than are their male counterparts (20% vs. 18%, respectively). Last but not least, basic economics.
Carmen Multhauf, co-author of the book “Generational Housing: Myth or Mastery for Real Estate,” notes that rents and home prices have been skyrocketing in recent years. She says that, “The younger generations have not been able to save,” and often struggle to get good-paying jobs.
Certainly in Southern California, affordability is a factor as we have among the highest housing prices in the nation. In Long Beach, Lakewood, Cypress, Signal Hill, and many other Southern California communities, multigenerational housing can take the form of a single family home, a house plus a guest house, or two to four units, which allows family members to carve out their own private space while still sharing expenses and providing emotional or physical support for each other.
While it is a shift from the more common nuclear home, these multigenerational households might be the answer that many families are looking for as home prices continue to rise in response to a lack of housing inventory.
If you’d like assistance with finding the perfect multigenerational home for you and your family, please fill out the contact form below and we’d be happy to help.