5 Tips for Buying a Multigenerational Home

Dated: 01/30/2019

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Multigenerational households are becoming increasingly common in the United States. In fact, luxury builders are contemplating these multi-generational houses by creating houses with detached dwelling units, separate entrances, and other accommodations to appeal to people living with multiple generations. Here are some tips for shopping for a home for a multigenerational household.

Separate entrances

Multigenerational households can greatly benefit from having separate entrances. Having a separate entrance is useful for a number of reasons. First, it affords the individual living in a separate bedroom privacy and the ability to come and go without disturbing the rest of the house. Additionally, the individual does not have to walk through the rest of the house to get into the bedroom. Nonetheless, a separate entrance does not mean the bedroom is separate from the house. Thus, if the individual is an elderly parent, for example, there is still a way of accessing the bedroom from the inside of the house if necessary.

Single Story homes

Single story homes are becoming increasingly popular over their two story counterparts. For individuals living in multigenerational households, it is helpful to have a single story home. These homes are generally easier to navigate because there are no stairs to get to a living area. An alternative to having a single story home is simply having an en suite bedroom downstairs. This affords two living areas that can help increase privacy for everybody living in the house.

Proximity to Hospitals

If your multigenerational household includes an elderly parent, proximity to hospitals is important. Remote areas that do not have access to hospitals or are hard for ambulances and other emergency vehicles to access are non-ideal. Furthermore, it is important to consider the traffic patterns to ensure that there is a convenient route for emergency vehicles to get to the home.

Proximity to Colleges and Universities

Multigenerational households are not limited to elderly parents. Increasingly, children are remaining at home while completing degrees such as bachelor’s degrees and even advanced degrees. If your children are planning on staying at home for college, consider the proximity of colleges and universities before purchasing the home. Many areas close to colleges are more expensive, but the increased mortgage may cost less than renting another residence for children in college. If you will be contributing to your children’s college expenses, consider the possibility of moving to a home that is within comfortable commuting distance of the school.


Flooring is an important consideration when living in a multigenerational household. Hardwood, tile, and other solid floors may be easier for wheeling wheelchairs, but they are more likely to result in injuries during a fall. Carpeting is a much softer surface and can provide insulation. With any type of flooring, textured or uneven flooring is less desirable. If you do not want to undertake a large remodeling project after purchasing the home, make sure to consider the flooring prior to purchasing your home.

Multigenerational households are becoming more common. Individuals with aging parents who may end up moving in as well as individuals with college-aged children living at home should consider these factors when purchasing a home. Further, make sure to involve all members of the family in the home purchase decision. When everyone is part of the process, they are much more likely to be happy with the outcome.

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