Multigenerational housing in Long Beach and other areas is coming back in a big way. Thanks to COVID-19 and the financial difficulties it caused, more families are buying homes together. In fact, the number of buyers purchasing multigenerational homes has risen to 15% during the pandemic. Here’s our take on multigenerational living and why it’s on the rise. First, some quick facts on multigenerational living.
- In 2020, the percentage of multigenerational homes sold in all of 2020 was 12%. In the springtime, this number hit 15%!
- 28% of these homes were purchased to accommodate adult children living at home. 25% were purchased to accommodate aging parents.
- The most common age range of people buying multigenerational homes is 41-55. This age range is followed by 75 to 95-year-olds.
Why Are Families Buying Homes Together?
The increase in families purchasing together is not new. In the 1950s, about 21%, or 32.2 million Americans, shared a roof with their grown children or parents. In 2017, an article by Realtor.com talked about the increase in multigenerational living. At the time it said, “Nearly 1 in 5 Americans is now living in a multigenerational household – a household with two or more adult generations, or grandparents living with grandchildren – a level that hasn’t been seen in the U.S. since 1950.” This article credited a number of factors for this increase in multigenerational households. They included rising home prices, child care expenses, college debt, longer life expectancies, and a rise of ethnic communities. Fast forward to 2020 and all of those issues were still affecting Americans. Then life added a pandemic on top of it.
So it only makes sense that we would see more multigenerational living right now. In a pre-pandemic survey of people purchasing multigenerational housing, 16% said they were living with family for cost savings. That number is now 18%. However, the biggest shift has been a trend towards buying a home big enough for parents to be able to move into their grown kids’ homes. There are two thoughts behind the reason for this. One, COVID-19 has resulted in kids being home way more than they used to be. Living with grandparents creates free, at-home childcare. Secondly, there is a real fear that older people will become lonely because of the isolation the pandemic has caused.
The Future of Multigenerational Living
Interestingly, this trend may not be going anywhere even after the pandemic. According to a survey conducted by the American Health Care Association in August 2020, 55% of nursing homes were operating at a loss. 72% of nursing homes said they “won’t be able to sustain operations another year at the current pace.” Of course, these numbers could change post-pandemic. However, home prices aren’t expected to go down anytime soon, and neither will the cost of childcare. Like many other housing trends, this is one where we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
Multigenerational Living Comes with Pros and Cons
The financial benefits of moving in with family are pretty obvious. As mentioned before, there’s free childcare, more people contributing to a mortgage, and more savings. However, there are also emotional benefits. Family members are less lonely and there’s an opportunity for grandparents to spend more time with grandkids. Another benefit is more adults in one house means easier home maintenance. While grandparents may not be able to do some jobs, help with cooking and cleaning can be a huge bonus for busy parents. Finally, multigenerational living also means saving money on elder care and allowing grandparents to age with dignity.
According to a New York Times article: “We started the 20th century as one of the most age-integrated societies in the world and ended it as the most age-segregated.” The article goes on to say that young adults and the elderly have been especially isolated during the pandemic. It proposes multigenerational living as a way to combat this loneliness.
Of course, more people can also mean it’s harder for partners to get quality time together. Proponents of this lifestyle stress the importance of carving out time for partners and kids. It’s also important to set boundaries upfront. Making bedrooms off-limits is a great way to have space that is fully your own even when so much of the home is shared. If you’re considering a multigenerational living situation, you also need to evaluate your schedule. If grandparents go to bed early and you go to bed late, will you keep them awake at night?
While multigenerational living can be hugely beneficial to some people, the cons are always important to consider. Clearly, this living situation isn’t for everyone. So before mixing multiple generations under one roof, serious discussions are advised. Of course, prior discussions can’t solve all problems. However, it can help the family get on the same page before moving in together.
Multigenerational Living in Long Beach
It makes sense then that Long Beach would be experiencing an increase in multigenerational living as our market is very diverse. According to data from Pew Research, Asian, Hispanic, and Black families are most likely to live in multigenerational living situations. These three groups make up 68% of Long Beach’s population! So it only makes sense that we would see more multigenerational living than other areas.
Furthermore, Long Beach’s granny flats allow for easier, more separate multigenerational living. Long Beach and its surrounding areas even have housing developments specifically designed for multigenerational living. Additionally, recent changes in rules about Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) at the state and local level have made adding one easier. So their popularity has been growing steadily. Learn more about Long Beach ADUs HERE. There have also been ADU updates concerning Airbnb hosting. You can read about that here.
As Realtors, we can see this trend at work in Long Beach. Some homes are being purchased by parents and their children together. Additionally, siblings and other extended family members sometimes join together to purchase a property.
We recently sold a home that is a great example of a home for multiple generations. While the home is considered single-family, it has an attached apartment with a separate entrance. This apartment has its own bedroom, bathroom, living room, and even a tiny kitchen. It allows for some privacy but is still connected to the main house. To see a tour of the home, please watch the video below. You can also check out a 3D tour of the home here.
Looking for Multigenerational Housing?
Multigenerational households are making a comeback. While it is a shift from the more common nuclear home, these households might be the answer that many families are looking for. Despite the pandemic, home prices are continuing to rise in response to a lack of housing inventory. Multigenerational living can allow more people to participate in homeownership in addition to a number of other benefits. If you’re interested in exploring a home big enough for the whole family, let us know. Please fill out the form below or give us a call at 562.896.2456 or fill out the form below.