Older adults have been the group hit hardest by COVID-19, resulting in many reevaluating their lifestyles and homes. Forbes says relocation and wellness-focused homebuying trends have been big for this group. The pandemic separated many older adults from their families, so now they’re seeking safer ways to remain close. Enter accessory dwelling units. ADUs grant older adults the ability to live close to family while maintaining their independence. These housing solutions are most popular in California, according to Forbes, due to liberalized codes allowing ADUs to be constructed on existing home sites. Permits for ADUs increased 11-fold in the last few years, says one California certified senior real estate specialist.
In some scenarios, seniors are building ADUs for themselves, and having their children and grandchildren move into the larger family house. This helps them escape a high-maintenance home with stairs in favor of a more accessible living space. It also lets them stay in their communities and be more accessible to their families for childcare, health needs and celebrations. “They get to live affordably and independently, knowing support is just a few steps away. And so are their grandkids!” Edwards comments. A related trend for those who don’t want to leave their current home is to move a caregiver into a rent-free ADU as part of a compensation package.
2. Multi-generational Living Surges
Multi-generational closeness is showing up in the new home construction sector, as well as in resale real estate trends. “In many of the nation’s hottest job and housing markets, we’re seeing two or three generations of families coming together,” shares Tim Costello, CEO of BDX, parent company of top-rated websites for new home construction. “The trend of ‘baby-chasers’ – Boomers following their adult children and grandchildren – will continue,” he predicts.