Posts Tagged ‘Multi-generational living in USA’

What a difference a few years make.

With interest only loans gone, with no money down loans gone (with exception of VA loans) and lenders going back to more conservative lending requiring 10%-20% down for conventional loans ( FHA loans require 3.5% down), a growing number of families are moving in together, which sometimes means that three generations are living all under one roof.

The sluggish economy has caused some households to expand, taking in more family members to trim housing costs, or to simply save money for a downpayment to purchase a home.

According to Census Bureau data, 4.4 million households had three generations or more under one roof in 2010. That is a 15% increase compared to two years prior.

The “double-up” phenomena is particularly pronounced among adult children, who are increasingly moving back with their parents after college to curb costs. The number of 25-to-34 year olds living with their parents jumped by more than 25% between 2001 and 2007, according to Census data.

The larger household sizes are causing builders to take notice and redesign floorplans to accommodate multi-generational households. For example, Pulte Homes says it’s swapping out one of the garages in its two-car garage plans to allow for extra space in a home for a guest room. And Toll Brothers reports that it’s creating new floorplans to accommodate multiple generations, such as a guest suite with a kitchen added where a family room may have once been.

 “The New American Household: 3 Generations, 1 Roof,”



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Multi-generational households are not uncommon among various ethnic groups. 

The hard economic times might have forced some American families to adopt this otherwise time-tested and beneficial for all involved way of life, as well.    


Building and modifying homes to accommodate multiple generations is increasingly popular as more Americans struggle to accommodate both their older parents and their grown children under the same roof.


The National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders Show this year featured a single-level residence with a master suite at each end.

“The grandparents’ suite included universal design elements along with a small kitchenette,” says Stephen Melman, director of economic services at the NAHB. “The concept for this home was that the parents could get help with their kids from the grandparents, while the grandparents benefited by having household maintenance chores and meals taken care of for them.”


Melman said that it is difficult to predict whether this trend will diminish when the economy improves, but he pointed to the growing number of ethnic groups (Asian and Latino families, in particular) where multi-generational living is expected as a sign that the trend may stick.


SOURCE: The Washington Times; REALTOR Magazine

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According to U.S. Census figures and a study released March 18, 2010 by the Pew Research Center, about one in every six Americans lives in a multi-generational household, up 30 percent since 2000.

The study found that the economy is a primary driver of the trend, but there are other factors as well. Aging Americans are opting for home health care over nursing homes, and Hispanic and Asian immigrants come from cultures where multi-generational living is the norm.

The Pew study and an examination of census data by AARP concluded:

  •  The most likely multi-generational scenario is a parent who owns a home and shares it with an adult child and a grandchild.
  • Older women are more likely than older men to live in a multi-generational household.
  • The number of adults older than 65 who live alone is decreasing from 28.8 percent in 1990 to 27.4 percent in 2008.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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