The good news is that older adults are living longer and often healthier lives than just a generation or two ago, but with large numbers of baby boomers reaching retirement age, senior housing and care is fast becoming a challenge for many families. In response, homes and even whole communities are being designed and built with multipurpose and multigenerational functions in mind.
There is a shift in attitude in America and around the world steering away from homes with grand foyers to impress your guests, formal dining rooms and vast great rooms. Homeowners want to live and use the space in their house, condo or apartment to its fullest, not heat, cool and clean rooms reserved for the rare large gathering. And part of this trend is creating spaces that can have multiple uses over time; a nanny or granny suite or possibly an income earner later down the road.
According to a recent piece in the New York Times, Lennar, one of the largest builders in the United States is developing more than 300 homes in Elk Grove, California on the site of a failed shopping center outside Sacramento. The Next Gen home layouts include an open concept main living space with kitchen, family room and dining room with the added flexibility of a smaller attached but self-contained one-bedroom suite. This separate apartment could be used for aging parents, returning college graduate adult children or for a live-in caregiver. And as times and needs change, the space could be used as an Airbnb or other rental space.
More and more middle-aged and older adults are eager to downsize, simplify and move into a smaller, more fully functional living space. Moving becomes more difficult as we age and can be both physically and emotionally taxing. By planning ahead with flexible living space, older adults will be able to not only weather their shifts in needs but also the fluctuating housing market. And the next generation of homeowners no longer wants to keep up or surpass the Joneses, they want a 3 bedroom ranch with one eating area, a home office and a guest suite with flexible use potential. Might just be a dream worth pursuing.
Learn more about NextGen multi-generational living and innovative floor plans by following this link to the Lennar builder’s website.