With multi-generational living on the rise, it’s important for families to find homes that fit both their needs and preferences in order to maintain this type of living situation comfortably. Learn more about multigenerational living in Houston and find out what Michael Reamer, Director of Sales for Lennar, has to say about what consumers are looking for in multi-gen homes in a recent interview with James McClister for Houston Agent Magazine.
Houston Agent (HA): How has demand for multigenerational homes grown in recent years? And why?
Michael Reamer (MR): According to the Pew Research Center, 57 million Americans, or 18.1 percent of the U.S. population, lived in multi-generational family households in 2012. That’s double the figure from 1980. The same study showed about a quarter of young adults ages 25-34 lived in a multigenerational household in 2012, up from 18.7 percent in 2007. Ironically, the 23.6 percent rate of young adults in multi-generational households surpassed the 22.7 percent rate of adults ages 85 and older.
The reasons? Studies show a Houston family on average will spend over $43,000 per year for a licensed professional to help with cooking, cleaning and running errands. Meanwhile, many young adults strapped with college loans either can’t afford or get credit approved to purchase a home – and skyrocketing apartment rents make it tough for younger adults to get ahead.
HA: What kinds of things are consumers asking for in multi-gen homes?
MR: The families we meet in The Home Within a Home models tell us they want a home that promotes both privacy and togetherness, one that fosters independence but where help is nearby when needed. They want solutions that accommodate a family’s unique situation – be it an elderly parent or a young adult – without sacrificing comfort. Plus, they want to take advantage of the shared costs that come from two homes under one roof.
HA: Finally, how can agents better position themselves to not only help clients with multi-gen housing needs, but also appeal to prospective clients with those needs?
MR: We help agents understand the unique circumstances surrounding the multi-gen buyer. In some cases, there may be two homes that need to be sold. Other prospects might be exploring the idea of a multi-gen household thinking a decision might come “down the road,” particularly when it involves an elderly parent, when in fact “the decision” often comes sooner than they expect.