When you look for a single-family home, you only have to consider your own needs. Expand your property search to include other generations of your family and you'll need to think about what works for the entire group. Multigenerational homes are gaining popularity as the population ages and as the economy declines. By combining households, younger members of the family can help older ones and everyone can save a bit on housing.
Homes with two master suites are ideal for multiple generations, as are homes with an in-law suite. Even a studio in-law suite with a small kitchenette and well-equipped bath will make an excellent spot for the older members of the family. Ideally, the new home will have a way to separate the generations a bit, with Mom, Dad and the kids upstairs and Grandpa and Grandma downstairs.
A big central kitchen and large laundry space are ideal for sharing; more people means you need more food storage, more table space and more room for the laundry. When you add an extra adult or two to the home, you'll be bringing along more than just people, you'll need a home with extra driveway space for vehicle and extra garage space for tools and recreational activities.
If a member of the family has mobility issues or may one day need a wheelchair to get around, look for a home with wide doorways and entranceways that could easily be converted to be handicap-accessible. Fitting everyone under one roof can be a challenge, but is well worth it in the end for most families.
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