Josh Gillis' Blog
Multigenerational properties have seen a demand spike recently, giving sellers a reason to sit up and take notice. As family dynamics shift and the economy rises and falls, property owners need to pay attention to who's buying what. We'll look at what constitutes a multigenerational property and which ones are seeing the most attention.
Accessibility & Space
The very word multigenerational may confuse some home sellers. After all, any home can be a multigenerational home depending on who lives there. But these homes are usually defined as being accessible to people of all ages with enough space to accommodate different lifestyles.
For example, the home may include a separate entrance and living room where a grandmother can maintain her independence without being far away from her family. Or it may include a wheelchair-accessible ramp to an in-law unit (complete with kitchenette). New multigenerational homes are built so each level can accommodate a different generation (similar to a duplex).
Why the Spike in Demand
The way we live is determined by everything from the average yearly salary to our daily demands. While families may have primarily stuck together a century ago, nuclear families took center stage in the latter half of the 1900s. It seems as though many Americans are seeing the pendulum swing back the other way. Today, up to 41% of all home buyers are looking for a home that can house either an elderly parent or an adult child.
While the exact reasons are still a little hazy, the trend seems influenced by the desire to save money. However, there are other benefits to multigenerational homes that lie just underneath the surface. These homes encourage togetherness while still giving everyone a sense of space. This can lead to better health outcomes — both mentally and physically. Young parents can ask their parents to watch their children while they're gone and adult children can help elderly parents as they age.
What Sellers Can Do
Most sellers are unlikely to revamp their homes entirely before putting it on the market just to make it an official multigenerational home. However, they can give their homes a quick refresher with an eye towards the universal design. This may mean installing grab bars in the bathroom or carpeting the bedrooms to provide more traction.
There's no reason for home sellers to go overboard when it comes to putting their property on the market. However, they can keep in mind who the buyers are in the area. It may help you decide whether to stage your third bedroom as a nursery or a study.