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Multigenerational Families Are Increasingly Living Under One Roof, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

American families are shifting their living arrangements in response to economic conditions, longer life spans and the influence of different cultures.  In addition to a multigenerational concept within one family, some homeowners may want space in which to house roommates or renters to help pay the mortgage.
This may have a significant effect on the needs of future home buyers.  Builders are coming up with alternatives in their residential floorplans to traditional layouts.  For example, U.S. homebuilder Lennar offers the Next Gen plan, which is a three-bedroom house with an extra suite featuring an additional bedroom, eat-in kitchenette and a living room.  The suite can have its own entrance for extra privacy, and even a separate additional garage.  Such an arrangement can be ideal for an aging member of the family, particularly if combined with features suited to older residents, such as wide doorways, few or no stairs and easy to use handles on doors, cabinets and bath fixtures.
Many communities have zoning laws that have been in place for years that limit construction to traditional single-family homes.  A notable exception is the state of California which has a state-wide law stipulating that homeowners have the right to build extra units in single-family homes.  Newer plans such as Lennar’s Next Gen avoid zoning hassles because the home runs on a single electric meter, has only a microwave oven in the kitchenette and looks from the outside as if it is a single-family home.

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