How To Prepare for Multigenerational Housing
In a multigenerational household, children, parents, grandparents or other family members share a living space. There are many reasons this may be a beneficial arrangement, but it's helpful to create a space where everyone feels comfortable. Here are just a few things about multigenerational living that can be helpful for you:
Understand costs and financial arrangements
Costs and financial arrangements will change depending on the age of the family members living with you. For example, if an adult child moves back in after college, you may decide to charge them rent. But if your mother moves in needing regular assistance, her finances will become your responsibility.
Set ground rules and boundaries
Similarly, you'll want to set ground rules and boundaries with the family members moving into your house. For example, if you have adult children with families moving in, set boundaries around the times you're able to babysit. For children home from college, you may create ground rules about guests in the house.
A critical need for family members of any age in your household is privacy. This will be easy to offer if you can provide a secondary housing structure such as a backyard cottage or attached apartment. If you're sharing rooms in your home, create ways to ensure that you and the family members living with you have private spaces and times.
Share household tasks
For family members able to help out around the house, communicate regularly about shared household tasks. What are they responsible for buying? Will everyone purchase their own groceries or will the whole family share? Who cleans the house, and how can you equitably share household duties?
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