A multigenerational house is a property where two or more adult generations of a family live under the same roof. Classic examples are households of young couples living with one of their parents and formerly empty nesters who live with a boomerang child. Extended families have various motivations for living together, but here are five advantages.
Pooling your resources with your parent, adult child or in-law will expand your property options. Co-borrowing will reduce the lender’s risk, increasing your chances of qualifying for a desirable home loan. Taking out a mortgage together can keep your debt-to-income ratio low, allowing you to buy a big home with plenty of space for everyone and a lower interest rate to pay down the principal more quickly.
Moreover, the down payment will become more attainable. Putting down 20% of the property’s price and avoiding private mortgage insurance — an additional expense with no benefit to you — is more doable with your combined spending power.
Homeownership is less burdensome for a multigenerational household. Living with other adults who pull their weight will increase everyone’s disposable income. Most living expenses — housing, food and utilities — will decrease when all of you buy a single house instead of renting properties individually. The same applies to other costs, like maintenance, homeowner’s insurance and property taxes.
Furthermore, homeownership translates to equity gains. Regular mortgage payments and house appreciation will widen the gap between your loan principal and property value. In time, everybody can cash out the difference through refinancing or selling.
To put things into perspective, renting helps your landlord pay off their mortgage to keep an asset they exclusively own. Considering only 64.2% of Americans own a house, more than a third of the country pays for housing and builds zero equity. If you buy a multigenerational home, you’ll enjoy housing security and own an asset you can tap for a large sum.
Lighter Home Duties
Keeping every corner of the house clean can be a pain without help and only some people love washing the dishes. Scrubbing cooking appliances can feel like a 9-to-5 job. Doing the laundry and ironing clothes are tedious. Window and gutter cleaning is as stressful as it is hazardous. Dusting, mopping and vacuuming is a full-body workout. Grocery shopping and cooking can be exhausting and time consuming.
Living in a multigenerational house will make nearly all chores more manageable. Sharing household duties will make even the most hated tasks bearable. If you want, you can even outsource the most taxing and dangerous jobs, and split the bill to make all your lives more convenient.
Stronger Family Bonds
Distance can make relatives feel estranged from one another, so spending more time together can bring the family closer emotionally. Instead of spending their sunset years alone or with strangers, grandparents will get to see their grandkids grow. Older people with health problems feel happier and safer with loved ones who care for them.
A multigenerational household can mitigate the undesirable effects of divorce, too. The grandparents can fill the void the absentee parent left, helping guide the young ones as they reach adulthood. Living with mom and dad can give the working divorcee a solid support system, share parenting responsibilities and render them less overwhelming.
Longer Life Expectancies
Did you know feeling lonely and socially isolated is a mortality risk? Older people who live in a multigenerational house can get emotional support from other adults and enjoy a sense of stability. Seniors who get to spend time with their loved ones are less likely to feel depressed, increasing their likelihood to live longer lives.
Multiply the Benefits of Homeownership
In today’s economy, buying a multigenerational house offers the most practical solution to ending your renting days and realizing the American Dream. Take this route to gain a foothold in the property market, and enjoy a more financially and emotionally rewarding life.
Evelyn Long is the founder of home living magazine Renovated where she writes about the current housing market and real estate. She has also written for publications like National Association of Realtors, Building Enclosure, and McKissock. You can see more of Evelyn work by following her on X.