Multi-Generation Homes

Multi-Generation Homes: In-law apartments, also known as auxiliary dwelling units [ADUs], backyard cottages, casitas, and granny flats (Plan 926-4, above, features one), are becoming more popular as homeowners add rooms and renovate basements and garages at an alarming pace to accommodate extended families. To accommodate the increased demand, developers are creating brand-new multigenerational, multi-use residences with in-law flats and/or Airbnb rental rooms. If you want to see how Oakhurst Plan 926-4 is put together, look below. Furthermore, analysts believe that this tendency is unlikely to alter very soon.

Multi-Generation Homes

Demographic Factors

According to CBS MoneyWatch, the Great Recession sparked a trend in which American families of all income levels moved back in with each other to save money on housing prices. This trend continues, despite the fact that an increasing number of Baby Boomers provide or receive in-home care for their ageing parents. According to Curbed, housing expenses in major cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, and Los Angeles are now almost as costly as in New York. This trend is the result of a variety of interrelated variables, including supply and demand (particularly in desirable locations with low rates of new home construction), growing tech wages, and the collapse of middle- and lower-class occupations. Cities such as Seattle and San Francisco are incentivizing homeowners to construct in-law apartments in their yards in order to fulfil the rising demand for more affordable housing alternatives.


How to Handle Your Parents

Some forward-thinking architects and builders are increasingly including “in-law suites” into new construction. “It’s a nationwide trend that we’re seeing here: families with several generations living under one roof,” says Tony Green, managing partner of Pinehills LLC and developer of The Pinehills in Plymouth, Massachusetts. “There are several instances of houses that house more than one generation.” The Pinehills spans 3,200 acres, although only 960 of them have been developed. There are two acres of open space for every buildable acre.

FivePointTM Communities in Aliso Viejo, California, has been focused on multigenerational homes for the last three years, according to Tom Martin, vice president of planning and product. “We were the first to provide flats for parents-in-law on the market,” Martin explains proudly. FivePoint is co-owned by Lennar Corp., a large homebuilder located in Miami. FivePoint owns many complexes in California and has implemented the concept of an in-law suite in other regions of the nation.

The in-law apartment in the above Lennar “NextGen Home Within a Home” concept (picture by NextGen/Lennar) has a one-car garage.

Kennecott Land Business’s marketing director, Cameron Jackson, has said that the company is developing its own version of a multigenerational house for the 4,000-acre Daybreak master-planned community in South Jordan, Utah. “Right now, we’re working with a builder on the notion of building the in-law apartment on the main floor of the property,” Jackson explains. We want to put this concept to the test since we believe it has commercial potential. If the trial goes well, the project will employ one or more builders to implement the entire product suite. Despite the fact that the majority of Daybreak’s customers are families “sizing up,” the firm works with a diverse variety of purchasers, from first-time buyers to retirees.


Simple to use and reasonably priced

Martin and Jackson both agree that there is a gap in the market for homeowners who want low prices and a variety of ways to personalise their homes. Martin attributes this to a shift in the population, which has resulted in a new approach to product marketing. Families of all ages are discovering the advantages of living with several generations. From those in their 50s and 60s caring for ageing parents at home to those in their 70s and 80s. Who may purchase a house by renting out a room on Airbnb.

“Many people who bought at the project would not have done. So if the suite had not been available when we offered in-law suites at our projects,” Martin says. This is something Jackson agrees on. The notion is beneficial, according to Jackson, because of “some pretty fascinating study results from John Burns and others.” “A builder can justify the investment by meeting the needs of several different living situations. That are becoming more common but are not being meet by the market,” depending on the state of the market.


Form comes after function.

A typical in-law suite in a FivePoint community, according to Martin, includes a living room. A “glorified breakfast bar” with a microwave oven and sink, a master bedroom, and a bathroom. The suite may feature a separate entrance, a master bedroom, a mini-master bedroom. Or none of these depending on the family’s requirements and desires.

When determining where to locate the in-law apartments in the main home, use caution. Some architects place it on the main floor for convenience. And accessibility (so that elderly parents don’t have to go up and down stairs). While others, such as the Pinehills flex cottage, devise multi-level solutions.

Green believes that the home and flex area on each level should have two distinct entrances. Because of the 12 percent grade that separates the residential street in front of the cottage from the commercial street behind it. Flex cottages are design with the private home. In facing the residential street and the apartment (or business space) facing the commercial street. “If a living area is build on the walk-out lower level, a family member can live independently in an 850-square-foot. One-bedroom apartment with a private entrance, kitchen, living/dining area, half and full bathrooms, patio, and parking,” Green says.


A recurring pattern

According to Jackson, “I believe that as long as the market and regulators accept them as a type of housing. More of these homes will be build. Land is becoming increasingly scarce, and the Baby Boomer generation is growing older.”

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