For a family with young children – or one
with children who cannot afford to leave home – buying a house has become
something more than a challenge. The elderly may be able to afford it but
living on their own spells loneliness and isolation. With the help of a house
buying agent, however, this familiar circle may become one you are finally able
Sharing a house – living in a multi-generational home – might offer the ideal way of satisfying the needs of both the young and the old. A multi-generational home certainly seems to be a solution which appears to work well for a number of families. Professional property finders may offer just the help you need in locating and buying just the right home suitable for three generations to share.
Not only does multi-generational home-sharing seem to suit those interviewed by the Guardian, but figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also bear out its increasing popularity. The ONS has previously revealed that the number of three-generation households in the UK had risen from 325,000 in 2001 to 419,000 in 2013.
The benefits of multi-generational living
Multi-generational living means that no
member of the family may ever feel alone. That is good news for older members
of the family, of course, who might otherwise face days of solitude and
isolation of living on their own.
By living together as part of the same extended
family, however, it is that much easier to keep an eye on the older members.
But having more elderly members of the family
around on a more or less constant basis also has its benefits when it comes to
childcare. No one is suggesting they assume the role of a full-time parent, but
older family members might provide an occasional invaluable role as
childminders – or as babysitters to allow young parents a well-earned night
There are also likely to be economic benefits
too – relative savings may be made on the costs of council tax, utilities and
internet for one household instead of separate ones.
The potential disadvantages of multi-generational living
Whenever you are contemplating any
home-sharing, one of the immediate worries is whether everyone is going to get
Within an extended family, of course, there
may be less reason for concern since all of its members are already known to
each other. But it remains an open question whether everyone will continue to
get along as younger members grow up and the family dynamic steadily – or
abruptly – changes.
If the home you buy is to be jointly owned by
adult members of the multi-generational home, it is likely to be more
challenging to find the most competitive or favourable mortgage deals.
This is especially the case given the
reluctance of some mortgage lenders to advance loans to those over the age of,
say, 70 or 75.
For those buying a multi-generational home together with relatives, it appears that mortgage lenders may be taking a kinder attitude towards loans which reach full term when the borrower is between 80 and 84 years old. It points to the fact that in 2014 there were no mortgages at all which reached full term when the borrower was aged 80 to 84, but that by 2019 there are 1,078 mortgage products.
With respect to securing the mortgage deal
appropriate for your own extended family’s circumstances, it is essential to
remember that a professional house buying agent is going to be involved in
every aspect of your search for a suitable home – and that includes identifying
and negotiating the terms of any mortgage you may need.
What to consider when buying a multi-generational home
Property finders – or any house buying agent you instruct – are also going to consider several key factors determining the suitability of multi-generational living:
- the size of the home, of course, is critical – it needs to be big enough to accommodate however many there are of each generation;
- that is likely to be a question not only of the absolute size of the house but the extent to which it offers personal space to each family member – especially when it comes to different age groups wanting to entertain their own friends;
- no one suggests that there is never going to be any friction between different parts of the family, but a few ground rules should probably be established to ensure multi-generational living can work;
- whatever type of property
suits the needs of your extended multi-generational family, it is worth giving
serious attention to the accessibility of close transport links;
- young and not so young
need to get about – and, preferably, under their own steam;
- this not only encourages
and promotes their own sense of independence but also relieves car-driving
members of the family from the otherwise endless role of taxi-driver;
- serious conversations need
to be held in advance about finances for the extended unit – how are all the
household bills, such as the mortgage, utilities, and food, going to get paid;
- however, those responsibilities are shared, and whatever the proportion
each adult takes on, it is essential that contributions are made by standing
order every month into a common account for household expenditure;
- making wills, tax planning
and setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney will also be prudent.
Multi-generational living provides an
alternative way of organising the family home for an increasing number of
people – with benefits accruing to each of the generations living under the
Of course, the property you choose needs to
be suitable for the needs of a multi-generational household and a house buying
agent brings professionalism and expertise to your quest for such a property.
Property finders such as these make
exhaustive and extensive searches on your behalf, including having access to
off-market properties. The searches are guided entirely in the way you have
specified, and you may rest assured that every enquiry and every aspect of
their investigation and negotiation is conducted with the utmost respect for
your privacy and confidentiality.
If that is the service you are looking for and want to find a home for your own multi-generational family, give us a call today, we will be delighted to help.