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According to a recent survey by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC among its network of real estate professionals, in the last 12 months, 37% of sales professionals surveyed noted an increase in home buyers looking for homes that can accommodate more than one generation of their family. In addition, almost 70% of Coldwell Banker sales agents believe that economic conditions may cause greater demand for multi-generational homes in their market during the next year.

The Coldwell Banker respondents cited financial drivers as the No. 1 reason why home buyers or sellers are moving into a house with other generations of their family (39%). Twenty-nine percent said that health care issues are the primary reason, and 6% cited a strong family bond as the main factor.

Sellers with “mother in-law suites” or additional spaces that could accommodate a family interested in a multi-generational living arrangement should highlight this aspect of the home. Whether it’s a garage apartment or refurbished basement, this separate space can help one home stand apart from the others on its block.

Buyers must be clear about their exact needs. Some families may just want an extra bedroom or two for family members, while others require areas with a separate kitchen, entrance, handicap accessibility or even a larger garage for additional cars. Desired location may also be influenced by proximity to local hospitals, senior centers or other important activities to family members.

Extended families purchasing a home together should consider signing a written contract outlining everything from finances to chores and childcare. Each family should assess their situation individually and find a plan that works best for them.

Check with our Coldwell Banker Island Affiliates for advice and resources if you want to purchase or sell a home that might be suited for more than one generation.