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  • Writer's picturegriffisrealtor

Multi-Generation Housing Trends

Do you have older family members that you’d like to live closer? Closer as in nearby, or possibly move in with you?

If you are THINKING that the “in-law” phase is on the horizon, I can tell you, that is VERY common these days.

Below are a Couple of popular options I have seen (and I’ve personally done):

1) Move your in-law or parents into a small condo or 1 story duplex, within a 5-10 min drive of your house (we just did this with my mom).

2) Build a new construction home in a neighborhood where they have plan designs with in-law quarters (often attached, with separate entrance, own kitchenette, own living/bedroom…like a 1 bedroom efficiency apartment).

3) There are a few floorplans I’ve seen built in the last 10 years that have a courtyard garage that was turned into living space, or large first floor game room that can be converted – but its usually just a room & bath, not a full living suite. A couple of neighborhoods have this plan for resales.

4) A lot of homes have bonus room spaces, but they tend to be on the second floor, so depending on the mobility of your family member, this may or may not be an option. But the resale options with bonus rooms is extensive.

5) SOME homes are already built with mother-in-law buildings/apt on them, but they are fairly rare.

6) Find a house on a big lot that might have room for another home (for example, I sold a 4 acre parcel that had a house on it, that could have fit 2 more. Just have to be careful with zoning…and larger parcels in the center of town are rare and expensive) so location is going to be the driving factor for this to become a possibility.

7) Find a lot, and start from scratch -either with a single house, or multiple buildings.(Again, zoning issues can come into play on what can be built, etc…AND this can be cost prohibitive option, depending on your budget).

No matter what direction seems to make sense for your family, the biggest factor most of us realize is everything starts with a budget….knowing what we have to work with will tell us what is possible, or what we have to be flexible on (location, age of home, etc) to keep the price where we need it.

When looking at resales or production builder new construction, that’s a pretty easy budget – because a lender can tell you exactly what you qualify for.

With lot/land/construction perm loans, it gets more complicated, as you still have the lender criteria, but then there are so many unknown factors that could (and do) come up during the process.

If this is something you really think is becoming a reality for you, the first step is to meet for buyers consultation, and go over all the options, and see what makes sense. The market will continue to respond to this type of request, and its possible there may be more options to consider as I predict this will become more of a common conversation than not. And we’re here to help you get to the solution that makes the most sense for your family.

Wendy Griffis

Better Homes & Gardens


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