There was a time when the thought of living under the same roof as your in-laws or parents was, well, cringe-worthy. But the reality is multi-generational living is quickly once again becoming a way of life. In fact, 65 million Americans live with family members under the same roof—a number that has increased 20% since the 1980s. As the desire for multigenerational homes increases, homebuyers are looking for ways to bring all their family together under one roof—floorplans that are designed to accommodate multiple generations while maintaining a sense of privacy and individual space. In a time when family has become even more important, homes with in-law suites are a welcome opportunity to provide for loved ones, build family connections, and manage budgets. In fact, according to findings published online last year in the journal SSM-Population Health, multigenerational homes could improve financial resources, buffer stress, reduce loneliness, enhance intellectual sharing, and generate structural social capital, thereby elevating the level of one’s health. Some benefits include:

• Connections: Multigenerational families living together under one roof have the luxury of seeing each other every day. These families develop a high level of attachment and closeness, pass on family traditions, and benefit from interactions with one another. 

• Financial: By bringing family members and resources together under one roof, families can collectively address their expenses and allocate finances accordingly.

• Safety: With multiple generations under one roof, a home is rarely ever left unoccupied for long. Living with other family members also increases the chances that someone is present to assist elderly family members should they need care.

• Value: Having an in-law suite will almost certainly boost the value of your home. Adding extra square footage to your primary house will result in a higher listing price when you decide to sell your home.

What Makes a Good In-Law Unit

One of the most important factors in making a multigenerational household work is privacy. All members need to have their own space and sense of freedom to still live the way they want while under one roof. Look for a home where the in-law unit is located on the first floor and includes a door into the central living area of the home along with a private entrance. This allows for space upstairs for family members, and the ability to close off the suite from the rest of the house. You’ll also want to ensure the design features the appropriate amenities. Most in-law suites typically include a bedroom, bathroom, small kitchenette, living space, laundry room and a separate entrance from the primary home.

multigenerational homes