July 21, 2024
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How to Buy a Home for a Multigenerational Household

When we were teenagers, many of us probably couldn’t think of anything worse than living with our parents for the rest of our lives. However, as we grow up and have our own children, we often find having our parents around isn’t bad at all. In fact, more people are choosing to live in multigenerational households, a practice that is already common in many countries throughout the world.

According to the most recent US Census data, a record 57 million Americans —more than 18 percent of the population—lived in a multigenerational household. As the practice grows increasingly common, many families are discovering there are several benefits to living with parents, children and grandparents under one roof. In addition to sharing the financial responsibilities of food and housing, members of multigenerational households often report feeling closer to their families and spending more time together, which can be especially beneficial for young children.

However, multigenerational households also come with challenges, and for first-time home buyers who will be living with their children and older parents, the search for the perfect house may require a few additional considerations. Here are some tips for finding a home that is ideal for an extended family.

Think About What Seniors Need

A multigenerational household should accommodate the needs of both the youngest and the oldest members of your family. For seniors, accessibility is important. Though you can add features like shower seats or handrails later if needed, Zillow advised you may want to give preference to homes that have wide walkways and open floor plans that allow for greater maneuverability.

Single-story homes may also be better if your older parent already has joint or bone issues that make stairs difficult. Walkable neighborhoods are also important for seniors—and children—as they allow more opportunity for non-strenuous exercise and socializing with neighbors.

Give Each Other Some Space

Many people want to set up their multigenerational home to allow for independence between generations. Trulia suggested looking for homes that include separate entrances or have extra rooms that could be converted into nurseries or home offices, depending on the needs of your family. This way, everyone in the family can feel like equal members of the household.

Check the Rules

That said, if you’re planning a significant remodel of the home to create a separate apartment or are thinking about adding on a detached structure, just be sure you’re aware of any rules that might affect your plans. As Realtor.com reported, some municipalities have zoning restrictions in place that may prevent you from adding on a second kitchen, for example. Additionally, if your home is part of a homeowners association, you might need special permission to add on a separate structure, such as a mother-in-law cottage. Make sure you ask about these restrictions when viewing properties.

At The Federal Savings Bank, we understand the importance of owning a home that is just right for you and your family. Contact our mortgage bankers today to get started on your path to homeownership.

By Michael Adler

Michael Adler is a Senior VP at The Federal Savings Bank and recently opened up the bank’s new Teaneck office. His office is located at 206 W. Englewood Avenue. He can be reached at 201-225-9301 or via email at [email protected]. You can look him up at www.thefederalsavingsbank.com/meyeradler – NMLS#28172.

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