“I think Realtors should be keeping an eye out for homes that can be adapted for this possibility without huge modifications or land that can be easily redeveloped,” says Toon Dreessen, president of the Ontario Association of Architects. “[Buyers] may not be able to afford this home on their own, but think of the possibilities of being able to redevelop or reinvest to have a basement rental unit and have their elderly parents move in; that flexibility allows homeownership to become more affordable.”
The trend in multi-generational homes, much like the trend in condos, is borne of an increased desire to densify in big cities. However, because raising families in smaller apartments is more difficult – for obvious reasons – that’s pushing many buyers to consider multi-generational homes,
“Housing prices we see for larger apartments and units price families out of the market for entry-level homes,” he says. “So, these forces are combining to suggest that a smaller-scale density – the three-storey, four-storey home – that has both the rental income capacity or commercial use combined with multi-generational housing allows you to address a number of issues [such as] affordability and long-term sustainability of the investment.”
And while multi-generational homes might cost buyers more in the short-term, they do allow them to afford more home with the help of their parents.
“The challenge of millennials (or Baby Boomers) is having elderly parents who aren’t ready or don’t need to be in a care facility, but you also don’t want them to be living alone,” Dreessen says. “It allows you to bring these factors together.”
Multi-generational homes are the way of the future, according to one architecture expert, who points out that they provide a more affordable option for homebuyers.