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As Predicted, Multiple Generations Sharing Homes on the Rise

Multi-generational housing

multi-generational housingOver the last 12 months, 37% of Coldwell Banker Real Estate real estate sales professionals noted an increase in buyers looking to purchase homes to suite more than one generation of their family, according to a recent Coldwell Banker survey of its network of professionals.

Southern New Hampshire Realtor, Monika McGillicuddy said, “I am seeing the same thing. My adult son lives in an in law apartment attached to my house and my brother in law lives with my mom in law. I think it’s a sign of the times and brings back stories I was told by my parents when they were young and the family all lived together. My grandfather, Uncle & family and Aunt & her family all shared a three family home. Combining resources, helping to baby sit and sharing in the day to day activates. My sister built her home with an in-law in mind.”

The report shows taht 70% of the surveyed agents believe that this trend will continue this year as demand for multi-generational homes rise with financial drivers as the primary reason for families sharing a home. Interestingly, only 29% of agents surveyed said they believe the driving factor to be health care issues.

McGillicuddy also noted, “I’m not sure it will impact vacancy rates here [locally,] as I work in a country setting where apartments are not easy to find. I do think it is getting back to when life was simpler and about saving money more than anything else.”

“While saving money is certainly an incentive for buying a home that accommodates multiple generations, the benefits go beyond just financial reasons,” said Diann Patton, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Consumer Specialist. “With two or three generations living under one roof, families often experience more flexible schedules, quality time with one another and can better juggle childcare and eldercare.”

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. jeffrey gordon

    February 23, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Having watched some close friends and their families in recent years weather the challenges of both the economy and family health issues I felt confident that “Universal” design housing was going to have a bright future as American families join the rest of the world in regards to their use of homes for 2-3 generations vs the single generation and surprisingly often single professional occupancy typical here in the U.S.

    A return to a more “normal” housing market and finance options combined with a pro-longed period of slower economic growth would be enough to encourage such a reality, but when combined with an aging boomer generation (facing their parents and their own health issues) whose homes (unlike their parents) are not paid off is very likely to turbocharge the movement towards this “shared generational” housing model.

    My sense of it is that it works well for everyone (parents/boomers/gran kids) and thus the reason it has long been adopted around the world and only moved away from in the U.S. because of the unique and unlikely to be repeated economics experienced in the US between the early 1950’s today.

    In my mind, any builder not incorporating “Universal” design features ( step less entryways, cabinetry, bathroom accessibility for walkers/chairs, door handles, light switches, and even an elevator shaft rough in ) into a new house design are missing a big market segment.


  2. Kathy Torline

    February 23, 2010 at 6:33 am

    I’ve also started to see the same trend in the Colorado Springs area. There are definite advantages of having multiple generations live together.

  3. monika

    February 23, 2010 at 9:07 am

    In Europe you see that a lot, at least I do when talking to relatives that I have in Germany. Family compounds, not huge places but small places. Everyone working together and taking care of the elderly and the young.

  4. Ross Therrien, Prudential Verani

    February 23, 2010 at 9:16 am

    You used my idea for my first blog. Addressing this happening, from a personal perspective.

  5. Joe

    February 24, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    This phenomenon has become particularly troublesome for my wife and I. We have several rental properties that we own and manage, and we are having to monitor the number of people living in our rentals. We’ll rent to a couple with 2 kids, then after a month or two, there will be 3-4 cars in the driveway! 🙁

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