Family connections grow stronger when multiple generations live together. Children can learn about their grandparents’ lifestyles and traditions, while adults can offer support and care for aging parents.
Homebuilders have responded by designing homes for multigenerational living with features like large common spaces, in-law suites and more. Here are some of the top features you should look for when shopping for a new multigenerational home.
1. Large Common Spaces
Large common spaces, like open kitchens, living areas and outdoor rooms, give multigenerational families the space to congregate comfortably while also providing personal space for each family member. Large dining tables, extra seating and entertainment features can accommodate the entire household while still offering room for private meals or quiet time.
Many multigenerational homes are designed with universal design in mind, including wide hallways and archways, walk-in showers with no step, main floor master bedrooms, flat walkways to the front door and other features that make it easier for aging family members to move about their home without barriers. This can help them stay safe and prevent injury as they age.
Living with older family members can offer working-age adults a chance to care for their parents or grandparents, as well as their own children and grandchildren, which can be difficult to do when working and raising a young family. This allows the whole family to spend quality time together and develop new, unique traditions as a unit.
2. Private Bedrooms
Whether family members live together on a permanent basis or come and go for short visits, it’s important they have the privacy they need when staying at home. Often, a multigenerational house design will feature a private suite with a bedroom, bathroom, living area and kitchen. For example, Lennar’s Next Gen floor plans include the Extra Suite model. This spacious plan puts the owner’s suite on the first floor to maximize privacy and convenience.
This is ideal for families who want to welcome grandparents into the home or adult children who may return to live with parents. It also allows older loved ones to spend time with grandchildren, which can help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. Plus, it’s easy to have someone available if there’s an emergency, such as when an elderly parent falls or is experiencing memory loss. Having loved ones close by can also reduce stress and costs for the entire household.
3. In-Law Suites
For families that want to bring in multiple generations under one roof, an in-law suite is often the best option. A number of new home builders are even offering floor plans that include these family units.
Located on the same property as or attached to a single-family home, in-law suites provide aging parents with independence and privacy. They also allow families to stay close and lend a helping hand.
While this type of living arrangement can be a great benefit for families, it’s important to remember that not everyone will thrive in a multigenerational household. If there isn’t a clear understanding of boundaries, it can lead to tension between family members. For example, adding separate entrances to the basement suite can help to ease a family’s concerns about privacy and add convenience for everyone. If you are considering building a home with an in-law suite, be sure to check local ordinances before finalizing your plans.
4. Flex Spaces
With multigenerational home plans becoming increasingly popular, buyers are looking for homes that accommodate a variety of lifestyles and family dynamics. Flex spaces can be used as bedrooms, home offices, play rooms or lounges to give homeowners flexibility and versatility.
Bonnie Martin, Garman’s director of sales and marketing, explains that while a common use for flex spaces is as an office or gym, they are also being sought after by families who live in multigenerational homes. “They want to be able to make that space work for whatever the future holds,” she says.
This is where the newest addition to our multigenerational home collection comes in: the GenSmart Suite. This space is designed to offer aging parents the privacy and independence they desire while living in close proximity with their adult children. It’s an ideal solution for anyone who needs a little extra help from their loved ones or just wants the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re not alone.