This is why you should build a house for two generations

Lily Cichanowicz Lily Cichanowicz
Aldo Rampazzi Studio di Architettura Modern balcony, veranda & terrace
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While in some cultures it is quite common to live in a multi-generational home, this trend seems to have declined over the past years. It’s unfortunate that this is the case because there are so many benefits to cohabiting with elders as well as youngsters! On a more practical note, real estate prices are quite high these days, and living with relatives can certainly help mitigate the financial burden. In fact, choosing to live with extended family can make home ownership possible when it otherwise was not. 

On a personal note, living in a two-generation household is a more enriching experience for everyone involved. Communal living will help foster closer relationships and increased sense of love and social support for each member of the family. Who would want to opt out of that?!

You can save money

Building on land that you already own is an excellent way to save money. Think about it—no mortgages means you have more money to put into building and renovation projects. 

Plus, when multiple family members are able to work, there is more income to be put into maintaining the household and buying groceries. Not to mention living with elderly relatives is cheaper that the costs of putting them in a nursing home. All in all, you’ll find that living in a two generational household will save you money in myriad ways.

You can use the parents' land

As you probably know, it can be quite difficult to find a place to build a new house. This is largely because populations in well known areas have been rising steadily for a long time. The result is that there is simply less vacant space available. Actually owning land was much more common in previous generations. If your parents happen to have been fortunate enough to have purchased their own land years back and they still own it now, it is likely that this real estate has plenty of potential due to location and quality of the land. 

This inter-generational home by Deu i Deu, for example, is located in the beautiful Spanish countryside. Therefore, it’s wise to keep this property in the family if possible. You can keep the original home structure for posterity and choose to renovate it, or you can start from scratch with something that better accommodates the current needs of your family.

Grandparents can help care for grandchildren

Another way that you can keep a few extra dollars each month is if you have people around who are happy to babysit for free. Putting your little ones in the nurturing care of your ageing parents is an excellent means of cutting childcare costs. Plus, this arrangement will allow you to work more hours without worrying about your little ones being cooped up in day care all day. 

It’s a great way to create closer relationships between your children and their elders. Grandparents will be there to love and tend to your children’s needs with more dedication than other caregivers. In fact, the only concern you might have with this arrangement is that the grandparents might spoil your kids with love and affection!

Grandchildren can tend to grandparents

With people living longer, the predicament of caring properly for our ageing parents and grandparents is a real concern. Many might feel they have no choice but to place these relatives in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Yet, these places are costly, and they are simply not the best option for every elderly person. 

An alternative to this situation is to make arrangements for our older relatives to live in our homes. Perhaps you have a spare bedroom or the means to build an extension onto your house to allow for this. Moreover, there is lots of research to suggest that living in an inter-generational household can help delay the effects of dementia. When your ageing parents or grandparents are exposed to the vibrancy of youth on a regular basis, they are more likely to stay sharp and feel loved.

You can leave for lengthy travels

When you have little ones, travelling becomes more difficult. You can no longer spontaneously decide to go on a romantic vacation getaway with your partner or to attend an important business conference when the kids have school and no one to watch them. When your elderly relatives are in the equation, doing so is much easier. 

No more putting the kids up at friends’ houses or with extended family members. When your little ones are able to stay in the care of familiars within the comforts of their own home they are less likely to feel fearful of a separation. Even in the event that you’d like to bring the youngster along on a trip, your elderly relatives can tend to the pets and plants while maintaining order in the home.

You can foster connection with family

Perhaps the most significant benefit of cultivating an inter-generational household is that it will help to better facilitate bonds between family members and create a better sense of understanding across generations. 

Your elderly relatives will feel integrated and less marginalised from society in their old age. Meanwhile, your children will be exposed to the wisdom of your elders, thus helping to broaden their horizons in a natural way. You’ll be able to ensure the care and wellbeing of all your family members in a cohesive, holistic way. Plus, you’ll just get to enjoy each other’s presence through family dinners, game nights, and conversation more often!

If you found this guide useful, you may also enjoy these tips for planning a family friendly home.

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