Inter-generational home – is it the right move?
By Eleni Akrivos – mtltimes.ca
More than usual, I am meeting families with the intention of purchasing an “inter-generational” home in the near future. A month ago, I met with a young couple along with one of their parents, who came to me with the idea to sell both their respective properties and move into a large home accommodating everyone’s needs. This is becoming a trend, possibly due to both economic and social factors.
Typically in North American society, we see young adults set out for University buying a condo or moving out of province, aging parents retiring to a warm destination and a home left with empty nesters. Yet, for some reason in the last few years, young adults finishing their studies now return to live at home with parents. And when someone loses a job or gets sick, someone in the family needs help with child care, health care or financial assistance.
From my experience working with families, there are recurring life factors that lead to “intergenerational” living. It is a big decision that does not work for everyone.
One of the factors is driven by economics and employment. A young adult who does not have enough saved up to get into the housing market and is seeking stable employment at the same time, may be better off living at home with parents, saving some money and getting on their feet.
Saving money is not the only driving factor behind this growing trend. There are “life-changing” events that put families in difficult situations, and intergenerational living seems to solve some of the issues. When an elderly parent needs specific care or is left living alone due to their spouse passing, moving into one home could make life easier on everyone. At the same time, grandparents are sometimes called upon to help out with the care of the grandkids.
Apart from the financial reasons or dealing with a “life changing” event, there is a definite social factor to consider. Some couples I work with are looking to the future. When buying a larger home, they specifically require that it has a complete bachelor or studio, in the event that one of their parents or older children will need the space. Just for the purpose of having an additional family member stay with them.
Another couple I met just last week, were weighing the cost of adding an extension to their existing bungalow, against purchasing a larger inter-generational home for future needs.
If you are thinking about this, why not have a discussion with your family about how this can benefit you. And what type of home can work for your needs? It could be a duplex or triplex style where each generation gets their own “apartment”, or it can be a larger single home, with an independent side entrance to a separate unit. There are a few options and styles, but you have to know where to find them! And you have to know exactly what your families’ needs are.
Eleni Akrivos is a chartered real estate broker and owner of North East Realties agency. Please e-mail your questions or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 5149998888.