What are multi-family homes?
of us are desperate to escape the in-laws and head back to our own
homes after a big family event, but for some, whether for practical,
economic or cultural reasons, living
extended family, in the same building or complex, is gaining
popularity. The vast majority of family homes in the UK are self
contained and separate even from their closest neighbours, but there
are those for whom living in the same building and sharing certain
communal areas with their friends or relatives is a way of life.
Known commonly as a duplex or two-flat residence in the UK, these houses contain two storeys - one for each family - as well as a common
cellar or basement and shared foyer and hallways. The building is
typically owned by one party, but there are always separate, private
entrances to each part of the home. In this way, multiple generations
of one family can coexist closely, sharing certain practical elements
of life such as childcare and meal times, but with the option to
retire to their own quarters at the end of the day. In today’s
increasingly competitive housing market, such arrangements make
prudent financial sense, especially in the face of an aging
population and its associated challenges.
are some styles of multi-family home?
addition to the duplex, or two-flat home, another popular style of
multi-family house is a semi-detached dwelling. Familiar to every
Brit, these feature two adjoined homes in one building, each with a
separate entrance and typically no connecting living spaces. They are
almost always owned and rented by separate parties and the
inhabitants can have as much or as little to do with each other as
they like. Terraced homes,
or townhouses, are also considered to belong to this category of
home, and consist of self-contained dwellings separated by a party
wall on each side. Despite the close proximity of each residence,
there tend to be no common areas, except, of course, the occasional
shared garden or driveway. Flats, or apartment buildings, can also
come under the category of multi-family home, with communal
stairways, entrance halls and grounds. Although each flat is usually
individually owned, their layout and proximity are well suited to a
degree of shared living if families or friends so wish.
are the pros and cons of multi-family homes?
of the biggest and most obvious advantages to multi-family living is
the financial benefits it offers. Sharing facilities and space with
loved ones can reduce bills, as well as cutting down on travel times
and costs. It also allows multi-generation families to share duties
and responsibilities in the most efficient way, i.e. grandparents can
care for the grandchildren while mum and dad are at work. It also
allows older family members to remain under the watchful eye of their
relatives, allowing them to live independently for longer. In terms
of disadvantages, multi-family living can be a claustrophobic
experience if not managed sensibly, and it’s possible that both
younger and older generations feel they don’t have enough space. It
can also lead to relationship tensions and frustrations, although
these can happen in any home, of course.
Is a multi-family home a good investment?
with any big housing decision, whether or not you’re making a
prudent investment will depend on your requirements and long-term
plans. If you’re keen to buy a large property with the intention of
renting or subletting part of it to friends, family or others, the
initial output can be relatively quickly recouped in rental payments.
In today’s tricky financial climate, there are likely to be an
increasing number of potential tenants willing to try this style of
living, meaning you’ll never be short of interest in your property.
much will a multi-family home cost?
with any housing quest, prices will vary wildly depending on the
location, size and condition of the home you’re considering. It’s
always best to consult an experienced architect,
right from the start, to guide you through the process and set you on
the right path. If you’re planning to build a home, you’ll need
to research and plan thoroughly, to avoid any pitfalls later in the
process. If you’re looking to buy, a very rough guideline is that
£215k is the average price for a semi-detached home in England. The
average flat will set you back the slightly higher sum of of £225k,
although this will differ hugely depending on other practical