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Builder Magazine Online has an insightful article on a trend in housing that is not to be overlooked: multigenerational housing. Defined roughly as two or more generations of adults living in the same home, multigenerational housing could apply to parents who’s adult child returns to live (boomerang) as well as aging parents/grandparents moving in with their adult children. The latter is becoming more common as the Boomer generation is reaching retirement.
Excerpt from Article:
“Multigenerational households are on the rise. While the phenomenon is typically cast as a product of hard economic times, the growing trend for multigenerational living situations is much broader than unemployed boomerang kids and has been growing since long before the Great Recession, according to a recent report put out by AARP as well as a separate study released last year by the Pew Research Center.
…The trend has been especially pronounced among the elderly. By 2008, one in five Americans aged 65 or older lived in a multigenerational household, compared to 17% in 1990, according to the Pew Center’s research. More than 2.7 million Americans aged 65 or older lived in a household in which one of their children was the head of household. By 2010, nearly 3.5 million American householders shared their home with a parent, according to the AARP report, “Multigenerational Households Are Increasing.”
The trend is likely to continue to grow simply “because there are so many Boomers,” says Nancy Thompson, senior media relations manager at AARP. “This trend started back before the recession, and Boomers are just reaching their retirement years. The first Boomers are just reaching 65 this year.”
Beyond the obvious physical needs of elderly parents who develop disabilities as they age, the Pew study also found more subtle health reasons for multigenerational living. Regardless of gender, race, age, income, and education level, “older adults who live alone are less healthy and they more often feel sad or depressed than their counterparts who live with a spouse or with others,” the study found.”
- Honest Architecture – People are simplifying their lives and this is carrying over to the home with simple, natural materials and forms.
- Smaller Size – Homes are sized to meet practical needs rather than satisfying personal ego.
- Holistic approach – Your vegetables are organic, what about your cabinets? People have become much more concerned with the life-cycle of what they put in their bodies and are now applying that same mentality to their homes. *Did you know that Steven Schmidt Construction is a Wellborn Cabinetry Showroom? Wellborn Cabinets boast complete vertical integration – a fancy way of saying they consider the environmental impact in every aspect of their business. Read more on their website here.
- Closer-knit Neighborhoods – Urban sprawl no more. The trend is to keep closer access to neighbors, parks, recreation and commerce… much like the homes on Ontario Circle.
- Green Building is Mainstream & Affordable – There are simple, low-cost approaches to green design: Rainwater catchment, drought-tolerant landscaping, permeable hardscapes, passive solar design and more recycling and landfill diversion.
- Shared Living Space – Smaller homes but with more bedrooms and baths to accommodate kids moving back after college, parents/grandparents moving in to help care for small children or be cared for themselves.
- Stand-Alone Structures – A second story over the garage to house a “granny flat” or studio for home-based business, or even a rental unit for extra revenue.
- Pre-Fab – Panelized wall systems and pre-fab components, but not your typical trailer park or overly mod look – homes now come in traditional styles as well.
- Materials – Sustainable & cool roofing, tubular skylights for natural daylighting, low-maintenance cladding materials i.e. fiber cement, stone tile, and natural-earth plasters.
- Mixing Styles – Old with the new, reusing, “up-cycling” and adding personal touches