All in the Family – The Hottest Home Trend
The pandemic hasn’t just reshaped the housing market, it is reshaping households for a
growing number of homeowners. Multigenerational living, technically is defined as three
generations living under one roof and it isn’t new. Even in 2016, when a worldwide pandemic
seemed like something out of the movies, 20% of the US population resided in
multigenerational households. And that is 5% more than in the year 2000. Over the past
decade, this trend can be blamed on practicality from three different angles. First as the Baby
Boomer generation continues to age, health issues may increasingly require home care from
family members. Secondly, the “boomerang generation” of 20-somethings are getting
married later and saddled with post college debt, and are moving back home to save money.
And finally, those with younger kids, multigenerational living can make homes run more
smoothly as parents and grandparents can take on everything from mortgages and bills to
household chores and child care.
In the time of COVID, where sheltering in place, working from home and distance learning
became the norm, the benefits of sharing space seemed particularly useful and healthier for
those with aging parents whose alternative living arrangements was a group living facility.
Adult children could know that their parents are close by and properly cared for and that there
is help in raising their young children. That’s why even more people are reconsidering this type
of housing and rethinking the current digs to accommodate the changes.
Multigenerational housing has been expected to grow for years, as families of Asian and Latino
decent, who are more likely to live with aging parents, become a larger share of the home
buyers nationwide. But it took a pandemic to jump start the trend even more. According to
Jessica Lautz, the VP of demographics and behavioral insights at the National Association of
Realtors, this could be a trend that is here to stay.
According to John Burns Real Estate Consulting, as many as 41% of American homebuyers are
considering housing for adult child care or aging parents when looking for homes. As housing
prices continue to increase, together with senior care and child care, we will see families
continue to see families pooling their resources and moving in together.
So what are multigenerational buyers looking for? While every situation is unique, there are a
few features that are at the top of the list. While these families are looking to spend more
time together, it will still be important to have some privacy available. Trends like in-law
suites, soundproofing and larger living spaces allow families to live together and still enjoy
their own spaces. All this togetherness also means more belongings, so most of these
homebuyers will also be looking for homes with plenty of storage space or ways to create
The National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers for 2021 indicated that
11% of home buyers last year purchased a multigenerational home for all the reasons
mentioned above. If you find yourself looking to create a space for more than one generation,
contact your local Realtor who knows the market and can assist you in searching for specific
features through the Multiple Listing Service.
Sources: Southern Living 9/3/2021, New York Times 7/9/2021, Real Trends 9/5/2020 and
National Association of Realtors