Buying a Multi-Generational Home

Housing multiple generations in a single residence has increased in popularity, with more than 66 million Americans living under the same roof as relatives. Fitting multiple families into one house can be tricky, so here are a few key things to keep in mind as you look for your extended family’s next home.

Figuring out the financials is a key first step in a multi-family purchase. Figure out who will be contributing to the cost of the home and what the collective budget will be. Agree on the names that will be listed on the deed as “official” owners. You can choose to make the ownership stakes equal, making each family member a “joint tenant,” or opt to adopt a “tenants in common” agreement, so each person can pass on their ownership through a will.

Establish priorities when it comes to the details of the home. Compile a list and discuss everyone’s needs, including the desired neighborhood and amenities, and if the home should be move-in ready. If you agree on some level of home renovations, make sure you also discuss who will pay for them.

Consider whether you can all fit in a single residence, or if it would be better to find a home with multiple units. Keep aware of local zoning laws, and at what point a multi-unit property becomes a commercial purchase, rather than a residential one. A real estate agent will be an excellent resource to help make sure you’re aware of all potential red tape.