Who's buying multigenerational homes?
"It's really good for children and young people to have a connection to their roots -- a sense of history and who they are. Older relatives provide that," says Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United, or GU, which is dedicated to improving the lives of children, youth and older people through intergenerational collaboration.
Intergenerational living is more prevalent among cultural ethnic groups where several generations living together is common, Butts says. But GU's surveys show the trend is growing.
CEO Frank Spadea says Gen-Flex homes from Franciscus Homes, based in Virginia Beach, Va., which also incorporate lock-off privacy suites within a larger home, are proving popular, even though most area residents are not culturally inclined toward intergenerational living.
"We did it because we were interested in providing privacy and comfort for everyone, two hot buttons we felt anyone in a multigenerational situation would want," he says. "It's about the flexibility of the design and integration into the house itself."
The privacy suite ranges from 500 to 600 square feet and is always located on the first floor, Spadea says. The rest of the house takes up about 1,800 square feet, for a total square footage comparable to the regional average for a single-family home.