Our housing needs as a nation are changing. While the last few decades have seen a decline in multiple generations living under the same roof, that trend tends to be reversing as more and more adult children are moving back home and homeowners are taking in their aging parents.
For hundreds of years, it was not uncommon for several generations to live together although the trend towards smaller family units began to take hold after WWII. According to USA Today, the number of multi-generational households in our country is currently the highest since the 1950s. The current trend is directly related to the economy, but many have noted the positive impact of having either their parents or adult children move back home.
PulteGroup Home Index (done by PulteGroup, Inc., a national homebuilder) recently conducted a survey of homeowners with children 16-30. Fourteen percent indicated that they have one adult child who has moved back in with them and a whopping 31% expect that an adult child will return back home in the future.
PulteGroup Home Index also interviewed homeowners with living parents. Those findings were also a surprise. Fifteen percent indicated a parent was already living with them and 32% expected that at some point they would be living with a parent.
In both cases, the number of multi-generational homes will double in the future if those numbers are correct. So, how will current homeowners accommodate the additional people? Of the homeowners who were currently living with a parent or planning on it in the future, 72% planned on either renovating or purchasing a home with a floor plan that would work more effectively for the expanded family. Forty-nine percent of the homeowners who were either living with adult children or planned to were expecting to renovate or move.
The additional spaces respondents felt were most in need to accommodate extended family included separate living spaces, including a mother-in-law suite or dual master suites, additional bathrooms, and larger great rooms. Other options homeowners are looking at are separate spaces with kitchenettes or spaces with separate entrances.
Builders across the country are beginning to see and provide floor plans which reflect this trend. In fact, in 2011 the National Association of Homebuilders did a survey of builders and what they expected homebuyers would want in terms of new home amenities by 2015. They determined that 60% of custom new construction homes would have two master bedroom suites by 2015.