In many parts of the United States today, adults are moving back into their aging parents’ home, motivated by the economic realities of post-recession, as well as by a resurgent sense of family. It’s a developing demographic phenomenon that has social scientists interested and real estate professionals excited.
A recent Pew study has revealed that 40 percent of adults between the ages 25 and 29 currently live with their parents because of economic difficulties. But moving back in with Mom and Dad has benefits other than financial. The obvious one is that the aging parents get to be taken care of in their sunset years at home by their loved ones and not in a nursing facility by strangers.
As more and more parents of Baby Boomers enter retirement age, the need for healthcare and assisted living has proportionately gone up. No big surprise. The unexpected thing, however, is that the number of single-family multigenerational households has also increased, according to new surveys.
Census Bureau records show that in the past decade, multigenerational homes soared by 30 percent. In New Jersey, for instance, about six percent of homes host more than one generation under a single roof.
It’s not just the Census Bureau that has taken notice of the trend; so has the real estate industry, which has given the trend a term all its own: bounce-back rooms.
Lennar, a home builder based in New Jersey and the biggest in the industry, has already retooled some of its production to meet the new and increasing demand for bounce-back rooms. It is building models that have all the basic amenities (living space, bedroom, bathroom, a small kitchen complete with its own sink, a refrigerator and even a microwave), but designed to be contained within a home, calling it “a home-within-a-home” model. For convenience and some privacy, a separate entrance is built into each of them. Additionally, revamping your home can possibly increase its value in the market.
The bounce-back rooms by home builders such as Lennar, of course, all comply with applicable regulations, no need for the potential home buyer to worry. But owners who are custom-building their own bounce-back rooms have to be mindful that their designs meet all the local building codes. Frequently, though, local boards resolve regulation-compliance issues to enable a family to accommodate its loved ones.
Toll Brothers, another major home builder, like many in the industry, is optimistic that the industry is seeing a robust trend. Tom Gestite, a divisional president at Toll Brothers, noted that the trend is in fact now heading to seeing three generations living in the same house. “The feedback we’re getting is that the other generation wants to still be part of the family action.”