Over the past couple of years, Mindy Jones Nevarez, realtor and owner of the Amy Jones Group at Keller Williams Integrity First, has noticed an interesting and common thread among some of her clients: a desire to combine households with other, usually older, generations of family members.
While many of Nevarez’s clients who are looking for multi-generational housing are hoping to provide additional care and oversight for older family members who are having health issues, she says others simply want to spend more time with them.
“Oftentimes, it’s just about creating a loving environment for a third generation and giving the older children the ability to enjoy the grandparents’ involvement in their home and family life,” she says, adding that for families who are looking for multi-generational housing options, there are a number of opportunities.
"For some, simply having another bedroom for a loved one that has an en suite bath is a good enough option; no separate entrance is needed. For those that are newer to the multi-generational living concept, typically they are looking for a little more separation of space so that the third generation has the feeling of their own environment to decorate, choose to engage or not to engage, and have space for privacy or quiet when desired.”
Nevarez’s clients Christena and Merle Pfeifer are currently looking for a multi-generational home in Chandler that they can share with Christena’s parents.
"Our inspiration to choose multi-generational living is simple: We feel this is the best way to ensure my parents will be handled with care, love, affection and still have a sense of independence,” Christena says, adding that they are looking for a home that includes a small, efficient and comfortable additional living space with a full kitchenette, eating space and separate bedroom.
“Love is taking care of the ones who loved and raised us with the same love and care they gave us,” Merle says. “All of us will come to a point in our lives where we realize our aging parents or elderly family members will need to be cared for.”
When working with clients like the Pfeifers, Nevarez says she likes to take the process very slowly and participate in the conversations about what needs need to be met in a home in order to make it a comfortable move for each generation.
“The way that we work as a team is to ensure that we understand the needs of all of the family members,” she says. “I love working with families who are looking for this type of arrangement because I can really be a part of what makes their family successful and then help them find a home that will allow them to thrive.”
This desire to look after and live with older generations under the same roof has caught the eye of a number of builders like Lennar, Nevarez says, who are building homes that can accommodate everyone and their needs.
“Over the last several years other builders have followed suit in seeing the need for flexible, multi-generational housing. The key transformation with these products, and probably the biggest change that I’ve seen in the need for multi-generational housing, is the desire for the additional space for the third generation to be larger, more equipped, and have the opportunity to be separated,” she says.
Jason Ewing, owner of Ewing Custom Homes, says he has definitely noticed the recent trend of homeowners who are looking for multi-generational housing—in most cases, homes that have separate living quarters like an attached or detached casita.
“They are looking for privacy and independence for family, and at least one bedroom anywhere from 400 to 1,000 square feet, depending on their situation. We feel adding this extra living space is an excelling selling point and adds tremendous value to any home,” Ewing says.
Regardless of their reasons for wanting to combine households, Nevarez says the benefits are overwhelmingly positive.
“We learn from each other and when we live together, we get to learn so much about our family’s history, we are able to notice the health needs of our family members sooner, and our younger generations benefit from the wisdom and involvement of a generation, which for so many is a lost art form,” she says.
“There can certainly be challenges and as a family’s needs change, so do their living arrangements. But, more and more I’m seeing families looking for a way to make it all work under one roof.”
To contact the Amy Jones Group or for more information about the home featured in these photos (home with a casita located in Falcon Estates), call 480.250.3857, visit AmyJonesGroup.com, or follow them online at Facebook.com/AmyJonesGroup/.