- There has been a considerable increase in multigenerational homeownership.
- This lifestyle offers family and economic benefits.
- What is multigenerational housing?
In recent years, the multigenerational housing trend has gained popularity and become more widely known. This lifestyle, in which several generations of one family live under the same roof, has been steadily increasing worldwide. It offers significant benefits in terms of creating stronger family bonds and greater financial stability.
We will explore what multigenerational housing is, how it contributes to strengthening family ties and how it can be a valuable resource for achieving greater economic stability today.
Multigenerational housing: Family bonds and financial stability
A multigenerational home is defined as a residence where two or more generations of a family cohabit — for instance, grandparents, parents and adult children all living together. These households usually have shared spaces, such as the kitchen or living room, and can also include independent housing units, like an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or apartment.
The purpose of this is to share responsibilities, expenses and resources, as well as to promote a close and supportive environment that allows families to live together in harmony through teamwork.
Strengthening family ties
One of the most prominent advantages to living in a multigenerational house is the strengthening of family ties. By sharing the same physical space, different generations have more opportunities to interact and connect emotionally. Grandparents can establish closer relationships with their grandchildren, passing on wisdom and family traditions, while parents can count on a solid support system for raising their children.
Furthermore, living in a multigenerational house fosters mutual understanding and tolerance, as family members learn to live with differences and support each other in times of difficulty. This can be especially valuable in a society where family ties are often threatened by physical distance and job demands.
Positive impact on financial stability
Multigenerational housing can also be a valuable resource for achieving greater financial stability. Sharing household expenses — such as rent or mortgage, utilities and food — can alleviate the economic burden for everyone. This can be particularly beneficial in times of economic uncertainty or in situations where one or more family members are facing financial difficulties.
In addition to direct savings in living costs, multigenerational housing can allow family members to invest in long-term financial goals, such as buying a larger house, paying off debts or saving for children’s education. By sharing financial resources, all family members enjoy a greater sense of financial security.
The main reason for a multigenerational home
Almost half of individuals in multigenerational homes are influenced by financial concerns, according to a survey from Rocket Mortgage® Research. The primary reasons for such living arrangements are: 48.8% highlighted home affordability and the need to save money. 31.2% desired more family time. 27.9% aimed to provide care for elder family members.
Within the financially-driven group, 40.2% were influenced by the high housing market costs (21.6%) or the necessity for multiple incomes (18.6%). Additionally, 33.9% found it challenging to save without multiple earners, while only a minor percentage pointed to older adult care costs (5.2%) or childcare (2.5%) as primary motivators.
The United States has seen growth in this type of housing
In the past 50 years, the number of Americans in multigenerational households has increased fourfold, with over 59 million people now living in such arrangements, reports the Pew Research Center. These households, comprised of parents with adult children or grandparents with grandchildren, present a distinctive dynamic with its own set of benefits and challenges. The trend towards multigenerational living is growing, bringing both rewards and potential difficulties.
Also, Rocket Mortgage® Research surveyed individuals in multigenerational homes to gain insights into their living dynamics. The majority of respondents identified parents and adult children as the most prevalent familial roles in their households. The survey allowed for multiple responses, indicating adults often assume various familial roles like being both an adult child and a sibling. Of the participants, 60.9% saw themselves primarily as a parent or parental figure, 35.6% as an adult child and only 3.5% identified chiefly as a grandparent.
Multigenerational homes typically house around four people with a vast age range, often having an average age difference of nearly 40 years between the eldest and youngest members. It’s not uncommon for up to four generations to cohabit. A notable 31.7% of those surveyed have always lived in such settings, indicating that multigenerational living spans across various adult life stages.
Challenges and solutions for multigenerational households
Living in a multigenerational home involves both perks and pitfalls. Clear communication is vital when multiple generations cohabit to ensure harmony. Those valuing solitude might seek alternative housing for more control over their environment.
While some see benefits in such living arrangements, 56.5% would choose to live independently or with their immediate family. The main challenges include privacy, with 26.4% expressing concerns, and clashing opinions, noted by 19.9%. To maintain a peaceful household, 47.6% highlighted the significance of mutual respect for privacy.
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