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Five Great Home Features for a Multi-Generation Family

When looking for a new home, the structure of your family will make a big difference in the kind of home that will work best for you. While a little one- or two-bedroom home might be perfect for a lone professional, the bigger your family, the more complicated your home needs become. While the ‘standard’ home buyers are young families or couples looking to settle down, many families today are made up of more than just two generations. If you are searching for a home that can provide a comfortable lifestyle for you, your children and your elderly parents, it’s important to realize the features that will make this enjoyable for everyone. Here are a few pointers on home features to find for your multi-generational family.

1) Enough Room for Everyone
The one thing needed most in a multi-generation home is enough room for everyone to have his or her own space or share space together comfortably. A cramped home will cause everyone to feel too close while a spacious home will bring the family together. When you’re free to separate, go to separate bedrooms and even work on separate hobbies, the time your family spends together will be more meaningful because it is voluntary. A spacious home with plenty of room provides everyone both the physical and mental space they need to enjoy being part of a big family.

2) Downstairs Laundry Hookups
A common contention in multi-family homes is how to split up the chores. Ideally, everyone will be able to pitch in based on their abilities, from the smallest child to the oldest adult. Along these lines, watch out for homes with utilities that are hard to get to. An upstairs laundry unit may seem like no big deal at first, until you realize that your in-laws can’t pitch in on laundry because their knees don’t do stairs. Look for floor plans that include downstairs and easy-to-access laundry hookups and other utilities, so everyone can do their part without climbing stairs.

3) Two ‘Master’ Bedrooms
The purpose of a master bedroom is to give privacy to an adult or couple. They have a private bathroom and usually have more closet space than the secondary child or guest bedrooms. In a multi-generation house, however, there is more than one couple or adult who needs master-bedroom levels of privacy. An ideal multi-generation home will have two bedrooms with attached full bathrooms, and at least one will be easily accessible on the first floor. A second master bedroom is sometimes known as a ‘mother-in-law suite’ though these can also include a completely separate living and even cooking space depending on the home.

4) A Large Kitchen
If there’s one thing almost universally true about multi-generation households, it’s shared cooking time. It is very likely more than one person will wind up cooking at once, whether for a big family meal or parallel snack times. The last thing you want is a kitchen so small two people bump elbows. Make your multi-generational lifestyle harmonious by ensuring your kitchen is big enough for all the chefs at once. This is usually best achieved by a spacious entertainer-style kitchen with an island/bar where several people can sit, chat and prepare food together.

5) Accessibility Upgrades
Finally, keep an eye out for homes that already have subtle accessibility features or could be easily upgraded with a little DIY modification. In many cases, the same kind of accessibility ideal for aging parents also make life easier for small children with shorter legs and motor skills that are not fully developed. Look for homes with low or no steps up to the porch or down into the garage. Open floor plans are easier to navigate, and some bathrooms are more welcoming to helpful grab-bar than others. The more accessible a home is, the happier you, your children and your aging parents will be.

Looking for the right new home for your family can be challenging but actually finding the perfect home is an amazing experience. When you have a house that perfectly suits your lifestyle and family structure, everyone gets their own room and personal space plus the wonderful experience of living with so many loving family members.

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