As we grow older, we imagine the days when our children move off into the world and build their own families. While we don’t always dream of the days when our parents move in with us, it may happen nevertheless. If you must manage young children and older adults in one household, how can you make multi generational homes work for you?

Moving may be easier than renovating. When searching for real estate properties that suit everyone’s needs, consider that older adults may prefer first-floor bedrooms and bathrooms because of staircase and mobility considerations. First-floor offices make wonderful extra bedrooms, so think outside the box when looking.

Alternatively, kids want play space. If a home you love has a large basement but not enough bedrooms – or too-small bedrooms – consider how much time you spend in your own bedroom. Think about finishing the basement into a giant playroom or den and asking the kids to share a room with bunk beds and watch how big their eyes grow!

Chances are you want a private bedroom along with a modern master bath and kitchen. Again, think about space. While the colonial you love may have that wonderful living room, perhaps the contemporary with the large den, big fireplace and open floor plan suits your family needs better.

Ask yourself, how do I live? Where do I spend my time? Entertainers may prefer large dining rooms. Outdoorsy folks probably want a nice property with a comfortable deck or patio. Older adults prefer convenience and easy maintenance, and young children like space.

Finally, in your quest to please everyone else, don’t forget to think about what you like. Whether it’s a lovely kitchen, a pool or a whirlpool tub, the home you choose, whether large or small, is your sanctuary.