Their grandparents and great-grandparents wouldn’t think twice about it, but the Baby Boomers might blanche at the notion of moving in with family members to save some cash. But the tough economy has forced many Boomers’ hands, giving new meaning to the term "multi-family unit."
Hey, even the White House is getting in on the trend. Marian Robinson, Michelle Obama’s mother, moved in to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with the President and his family.
Real estate giant Coldwell Banker (Stock Quote: CD) has the numbers — 37% of the firm’s 2,360 real estate agents said in the January study that “multi-generational” housing was a top priority for homebuyers. About 70% of Coldwell Banker agents say that the number of multi-generational homes will rise significantly by the end of 2010.
A separate study, this one from the U.S. Census Bureau, estimates that there are 4 million multi-generational families in the U.S.
Unfortunately, getting a chance to get to know grandma better isn’t the primary driver for the new generation of multi-family households.
Coldwell Banker reports that financial concerns are the number one reason why homebuyers move in with other family members. Health concerns are next, followed by strong family bonds.Who’s a likely candidate to live with older family members, like a parent or grandparent? College graduates who can’t find a job are at the top of the list, along with the recently unemployed. But the Coldwell Banker survey says that even heads of households with jobs are bringing families in under one roof to save money, and to keep the mortgage payments rolling in — in case a financial calamity happens.
So what steps should you take if you see a multi-generational home as a viable, maybe even a necessary, option?