It is often said that while you can pick your friends, you can’t pick your family. That's fine for anyone who doesn’t see their family except on holidays and special events, but for an increasing number of families in the U.S., family time is becoming a regular happening.
Multigenerational living continues to grow in the U.S., and as more and more families find themselves living in the same homes as their parents, children, or grandchildren, a simple guest bedroom will no longer do. While the homeowner may want to settle down for the night and catch up on Game of Thrones, their parents may want to settle in, flip on the news, and hold their very own political debate in the family room. If a home isn’t designed for it, multigenerational living can take its toll on a family. Builders are starting to take note of this and are adjusting accordingly.
For example, as the New York Times reports, Lennar, one of the first major builders to begin constructing models specifically designed for multigenerational living, sold 1,100 of its “NextGen” multigenerational home model in 2015. In 2012, the year the model was announced, they only sold 280. Lennar’s NextGen homes provide a separate entranceway, bedroom, living space, bathroom, kitchenette, laundry facilities, and, occasionally, even offer separate temperature controls and separate garages. Families may live under the same roof, but they won’t need to actually see each other for days at a time if they choose.
Toll Brothers also sells multigenerational homes. These models don’t just have an extra guest room with an attached full bath or a bit of extra space to spread out. They offer an extra bedroom, kitchenette, and living area. As with Lennar, the Toll Brothers multigenerational offering has been steadily rising in popularity, as well, accounting for only 1 percent of the company’s total sales in 2012 compared with 5 percent in 2015.
Think of the multigenerational offerings as existing somewhere between a single-family home and a small multifamily building. They allow families to spend time together when they choose, but also provide much needed space and privacy, as well.