Orange County Real Estate and the Emergence of Multigenerational living

Multigenerational living has been emerging as a growing trend nation wide including right here in Orange County. But exactly what is multigenerational living, why is it increasing in popularity, how are new homebuilders responding and what to consider if you are in the market for a multigenerational home.

Multigenerational living is most often defined as a home with at least two adult generations, or a grandparents and at least one other generation. According to the Pew Research Center 16.7 percent of the American population, or approximately 51 million, live in a house with at least two adult generations, or a grandparent and at least one other generation.

The first reason in the growing popularity in multigenerational living is the changing demographics. Instead of downsizing the Baby Boomers are upsizing to accommodate elderly parents and children who are either still at home or looking to move back home. The latest recession caused an increase in “boomerang kids” who had been living on their own but now moved back home.

Due to this rise in multigenerational living builders have begun adding homes specifically geared towards multigenerational buyers. Based on extensive consumer research, TNHC (The New Home Company) based in Aliso Viejo, and Robert Hidey Architects of Irvine developed Irvine’s Lambert Ranch featuring large single-family homes with various options for extended families, including 800-sq.-ft., detached guest houses, “living suites” with kitchenettes and separate entrances and compound-like estates with shared courtyards. Of course not everyone is going purchasing brand new homes so many looking to take part in multigenerational living are purchasing larger older homes on larger lots and modifying them to work for their multiple generations.

If you are considering purchasing a multigenerational home here are some things to consider. Make sure to talk through boundaries, use of space and what your method of communicating with each other what is or isn’t working. Having clear roles and responsibilities is of utmost importance and make sure it’s in writing so no one can say they didn’t know. Sounds silly but it should save a lot of stress later on down the road. When there is an issue don’t wait till it gets to a boiling point before resolving it. Of course there is the matter of money, which is usually a very sticky issue. You need to decide whether you will create a family account with all money going into that fund to pay all household bills, or if one party pays and everyone gives that person their share of the expenses. Money also comes into play when deciding who is entitled to what share of the equity, who is going to put down what percentage of the down payment and how decisions on remodeling and renovations are made. Making sure that all family members have privacy in a multigenerational home is a challenge but essential to maintain the peace.

I have recently assisted a family in the purchase of a multigenerational home and I can say from my experience that it is a little more complex of a transaction than a traditional purchase. You have multiple party interests to consider and you need to make sure that all of their interest and needs have been accounted for.

So if you are in a situation where you have considered this as an option for your family contact me or give me a call @ 949-599-6860 and I will walk you through the process and things that you need to consider.

Sherry Swift

Broker Associate


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Orange County Real Estate and the Emergence of Multigenerational living
A growing trend in Orange County Real Estate is multigenerational living. Find out what it is, who is doing it and what to consider before you make the leap. Brought to you by your leading local Orange County Real Estate team.
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