Multi-Gen Housing Is Back in Vogue

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beverly hillbillies

American families are going back to the future, with multiple generations shacking up together for the same reasons that young un-marrieds once did -- to save on housing costs. The trend has resurfaced over the past 12 months, reports Coldwell Banker in a new survey conducted among its agents, as families seek big homes with features like geographically separate bedrooms that let the middle-aged share space with adult offspring and/or aging parents.

"More than one third of our sales associates have seen clients express a need for a multi-gen home," Diann Patton, Consumer Specialist at Parsippany, N.J.-based Coldwell Banker Real Estate, tells HousingWatch.

Indeed, Coldwell Banker's survey says that 37 percent of Coldwell Banker agents have heard this request, and that among those seeking a "multi-gen" home, the top reason is financial savings (39%), followed by healthcare costs (29%) and family bonding (6%).

Patton says that families interested in multi-generational homes will look at models with "mother-in-law" or accessory units, but also homes with remodel-ready attics and lots of separate entrances.