Multigenerational Living — Is it Time to Make a Plan?

Multigenerational living is defined as homes with three or more generations living in them. This trend is on the rise, and it’s no surprise given increasing home prices and the cost of living. A 2021 study found multigenerational homes have increased by 50% since 2021(1), accounting for 7% of all homes in Canada(2).

With the average two-bedroom apartment renting for $2,268 per month(3) and the average cost of assisted living at nearly $2,400 per month(4), the dollars and sense can show that it’s a good idea for everyone to live together. Having three of my grandparents go through assisted living, my family saw first-hand that you get what you pay for. The average cost may not be where you want Mom or Dad to live; do your diligence and budget accordingly.

The Benefits

Beyond the stretch of learning to live together, there are real benefits and increased ease of living.

  • Safety — With a parent close, it’s much easier to keep an eye on them and care for their needs. There’s no need to run across town to be with them or pick them up for an appointment.
  • Childcare — Having additional adults in the house can remove the cost of childcare (especially after school), allowing a bond between generations.
  • Ability to Save — For young adults, this is a great way to save for their home, a gift that will serve them for the rest of their lives. Beyond the ‘kids’, the family reduces costs, allowing them to get into a stronger financial position or enjoy more life with additional resources.
  • Financial Safety Net — The safety net is there for everyone. The combined financial resources reduce costs and offset limited resources or unexpected financial issues.

The Considerations

If you are considering this, keep the following in mind and set everyone up to win.

  • Guidelines — Agree to the rules of the house before moving in. These can include expenses, using appliances and schedules.
  • Lack of Privacy — With more people in the home, privacy changes and can take time to adjust. Communication is key. For example, knowing someone is not a morning person will help alleviate hurt feelings when that person shuns conversations at that time.
  • Personality Differences — We all tick a little differently, especially in different seasons of life. Ongoing communication, flexibility and respect for each other’s views will help navigate these differences. Elders may feel sad that they no longer are the head of the household or are a burden. Including them in family meals and fun activities makes them a part of the family.  Asking them to be responsible for certain tasks makes them feel a part of the household.
  • Adjustments to Living Space — Converting living spaces may be necessary, as well as sharing common areas. There may also be extra expenses if renovations or additions are required, such as an in-law apartment or carriage home. The savings on care expenses offset renovation costs. Additionally, building an additional dwelling creates a future revenue stream and increases the value of your property.

Only you know if living with an extended family is a good fit. If you are considering it, we can work through mortgage options and how this affects your budget’s bottom line. Email your questions, or click here to book an appointment.

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