Builders and Home Depot prepared to offer more multigenerational homes

As part of a larger argument that millennials still will prefer homes but perhaps in a different form, Joel Kotkin suggests several builders and Home Depot are prepared to offer more multigenerational homes:

Some companies, such as Pulte Homes and Lennar, are betting that the multi-generational home — not the rental apartment — may well be the next big thing in housing. These firms report that demand for this kind of product is particularly strong among immigrants and their children.

Lennar  has already developed models — complete with separate entrances and kitchens for kids or grandparents — in Phoenix, Bakersfield, the Inland Empire area east of Los Angeles and San Diego, and is planning to extend the concept to other markets. “This kind of housing solves a lot of problems,” suggests Jeff Roos, Lennar’s regional president for the western U.S. “People are looking at ways to pool their resources, provide independent living for seniors and keeping the family together.”

But much of the growth for multigeneration homes will come from an already aging base of over 130 million existing homes. An increasing number of these appear to being expanded to accommodate additional family members as well as home offices. Home improvement companies like Lowe’s and Home Depot already report a surge of sales servicing this market.

A top Home Depot manager in California traced the rising sales in part to the decision of people to invest their money in an asset that at least they and their family members can live in. “We are having a great year ,” said the executive, who didn’t have permission to speak for attribution. “ I think people have decided that they cannot move so let’s fix up what we have.”

Perhaps multigenerational housing is the future though I wonder if this housing would prove so popular in better economic times.

How much extra can a builder charge for a multigeneration house and how much space does this new house have compared to a new home built for a nuclear family?

Here is one of the Lennar multigeneration home that features “The Home Within a Home”! Looking at this floor plan, it looks like it features just three extra rooms: a “next gen bedroom,” a bathroom, and a “next gen living space” with kitchenette located at the front of the home and that can be close doff from the rest of the house. The home is 2,250 square feet, smaller than the average new home, and is priced at $273,000. Here is how Lennar describes the house:

“We have created this plan to allow for dual living situations without sacrificing comfort – it’s literally a home within a home,” stated Dale Billy, Division President.

The economy has dramatically contributed to the decision to build this type of product. Many aging parents have seen their retirement investments diminish during recent years and many college-age children are finding it necessary to move back home. With housing typically being the largest part of the monthly budget, moving in together is an option many are embracing. “The opportunity for families to share a mortgage makes a lot of economic sense for many families,” added Billy. “Lennar’s Next Gen – The home within a home, is essentially two homes with one payment, making living together affordable, comfortable and flexible to your needs.”

Each NEXT GEN? suite includes a separate entrance, living room, kitchenette, laundry and private bedroom and bath. Lennar designed this unique floorplan to be incorporated into the main home floorplan in a way that allows it to be a separate space but also offers direct access from the main house, depending upon the family’s needs.

I’ll be watching for these in the Chicago area. Does Home Depot sell a prefab or easy to construct addition to attach to an existing home to make it a multigeneration home?

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