Multigenerational living has been on the rise since 1980. Even before the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the United States saw a record number of multigenerational households with around 64 million Americans (that’s one in five Americans) living the multigenerational lifestyle.
But what exactly defines multigenerational living? And is it the right choice for you and your family?
What is Multigenerational Living?
The typical model is when a single household includes two or more generations of adults. Grandparents raising grandchildren under twenty-five years old are also considered multigenerational households, even if the grandchild’s parents are not living with the family (this is called a “skipped generation household”).
The most common type of multigenerational household is when an adult child lives with his or her parent(s). Around 32.3 million households fell into this category as of 2016 when Pew Research Center conducted a detailed analysis. This is followed closely by households with three or more generations, which would be the case when a family includes grandparents and grandchildren in the same household. 28.4 million American households fell into this category in 2016. The skipped generation household is far less common than the other two with only 3.2 million Americans in this situation in 2016.
Trends in Multigenerational Living
Data from the Pew Research Center, going back to the 1940s, uncovered interesting long-term trends in multigenerational living.
By the end of the 1940s, an estimated 21% of the American population lived in multigenerational households. There was a steep decline through the 1950s and a continued decline through the 60s and 70s until multigenerational households accounted for just 12% of the population in 1980. And it’s been on the rise ever since.
The COVID-19 Impact
While the fallout from the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent recession is ongoing, we are already seeing a surge in multigenerational households.
In a 2020 study, Pew found that more than 50% of young adults, aged 18-29 years old were living with their parents. This is the first time since the Great Depression of the 1930s that more than half of young adults are in this position. The COVID Recession hit young adults particularly hard as they make up the majority of the workforce in heavily-impacted industries like retail, food service, travel, and recreation.
Advantages of Multigenerational Living
While many Americans are choosing multigenerational living more from necessity than desire, multigenerational households enjoy several benefits:
- Shared expenses. Housing costs, in particular, are dramatically reduced when multiple generations share the mortgage or rent expense.
- Reduced costs of care. Multigenerational households can reduce, or even avoid, expenses for daycare and/or elderly care.
- Shared household responsibilities. There are more people to pitch in with the household chores.
- Close family relationships. Being able to spend quality time together daily strengthens familial bonds.
- Reducing loneliness. With so many people living in a multigenerational household, the risk of loneliness decreases, which is particularly beneficial for elderly relatives.
Disadvantages of Multigenerational Living
Of course, you should also consider the potential negatives of multigenerational living when deciding if it’s a good fit for your family.
- Lack of privacy. With more people under one roof, you’ll naturally find you have less privacy than you would with fewer people.
- Lack of space. Similarly, more people require more square footage to accommodate everyone’s belongings comfortably.
- Lack of anonymity. You’ll have less time alone, and you’ll need to practice more cooperation with more peoples’ schedules and preferences to consider.
Is Multigenerational Living Right for Your Family?
Multigenerational living may have more advantages than disadvantages, but only you know how much weight you place on each of the pros and cons. If you require a lot of alone time and personal space, you might struggle with a multigenerational living arrangement. But if you value family time and sharing the responsibility and cost of running a household, multigenerational living might be a great fit for you.
Whether you’re ready to buy a multigenerational home, refinance your existing home loan, or just want more information about the mortgage loan process, contact OVM Financial. We’re always happy to answer your questions and help you navigate your loan. Call us at 757-296-2148 or start your application today at ovmfinancial.com/QuickStart.
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