An alternative to building an addition
A couple years ago, Tom Moser, a financial planner in Arizona, became concerned about his octogenarian father, who lived alone about 20 miles away.
"I was seeing some things that indicated Dad was lonely," Moser says. "I grew up in a Mennonite community in Indiana, where adding on to an existing home has been the norm for a couple of hundred years, so the concept of different generations living together was not new to me.
"I wanted to do something for my father that was right for him. He wasn't open to going into assisted living, and that was not our first choice either. I discovered that three miles away, Lennar was building just the type of home I was looking for. So we jumped at it."
Lennar rolled out its line of "Next Gen" homes at the beginning of 2012, says Jeff Roos, Western regional president. By the end of 2013, Lennar had sold more than 1,200 of them in more than 100 communities.
A "Next Gen" home doesn't add significantly to the total square footage, Roos says. "It's designed with a separate apartment within the confines of a family home. It provides a separate living space that allows more than one generation to live independently, but together.
"I think it's the greatest advance since indoor plumbing. It's a real game changer."