Survey identifies trend to multi-generational homes

An increasing number of homebuyers are looking for a property to accommodate more than one generation of their family, says a recent survey by Coldwell Banker Real Estate of its network of real estate professionals across Canada and the U.S.

37% of the survey respondents saw an increased demand for multi-generational homes, while in Canada the number was even higher at 45%.

In Canada, 52% of all Coldwell Banker survey respondents cited health care issues as the No.1 reason why home buyers or sellers would move into a house with other generations of their family. Financial drivers followed closely behind (45%), while less than 1%cited a strong family bond as the main factor. John Geha, president of Coldwell Banker Canada, says:

“With two or three generations living under one roof, families often experience more flexible schedules, more quality time with one another and can better juggle caretaking responsibilities as healthcare issues arise.”

Communicating with family is key to successful transition. “Talk to everyone involved and determine how comfortable people are with sharing bathrooms, office space or common areas, and let that guide your search,” Geha says. “All of these topics are incredibly important in finding the right kind of home to fit the family – like one that has four bathrooms or one that has three.”

The company says extended families purchasing a home together should consider signing a written contract outlining everything from finances to chores and childcare. Each family should assess their situation individually and find a plan that works best for them.