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Multigenerational Families Avidly Living Under One Roof

Many families that grew up in a nurturing, multi-generational household know that someday they will most likely repay their elders in a similar fashion. However, one family has taken it to a whole new level — designing a custom home to accommodate multiple generations of their family. In Marcelle S. Fischler’s article “A Home for All Generations,” she accounts how the Delfino family moved into a 3,400-square-foot home in New York that would “accommodate their multigenerational needs.”

“When we married and had the little ones, my in-laws were there for us every step of the way,” Mike Delfino Jr., 52, said. “It’s time to pay back.” But this is not just a trend that’s sticking with the Delfino family. Lennard Axinn, who designed and built the family’s custom home, said they have discovered strong customer interest in houses. This includes emphasizing versatility within the physical design, and building houses that are easily adaptable for multiple generations that aim to live together.

According to the AARP, the number of U.S. households that have two or more generations living inside of it has swelled from 5 million in 2000 to 6.2 million in 2008. “Buying a house conceived with multiple generations in mind makes a lot more sense to a forward-thinking buyer than trying to retrofit a smaller, more conventional house,” Fischler said.

According to the director of economic services at the National Association of Home Builders, the new American home includes master bedrooms on opposite ends of the house to allow room for privacy and “acoustical separation.” Typically on different floors, the second suite doesn’t need to be enormous, but the NAHB said it does need ample closet space and a full bathroom with universal design elements (non-slip floors, a step-free shower entrance, doorways that can accommodate wheelchairs, etc.). Aging owners do not have to look elsewhere for user-friendly housing.

Honey, we’re all home!