It may come as a surprise to know that the nuclear family household of two parents and their biological children is a relatively rare phenomenon in the history of humankind. The term itself only started being used in the early 20th century.
Throughout history and in cultures across the world, having more than two generations living together has been the norm.
In Australia, more than four million Australian adults live in households with their parents, their adult children or extended family. That’s one fifth of all households and the trend is likely to rise.
Economic Benefits of Multi-generational Living
One of the obvious benefits of multi-generation living is that it makes economic sense. With Australia ranking third in the most expensive places to buy a house, buying a home is beyond the reach of many Australians.
Sharing the cost of mortgage, rent and utilities with family members is a good reason to live together. For adult children saving to buy a home of their own, living with their parents gives them the head-start to save a deposit.
Grandparents on Call
Another reason many opt to share a home with their parents or older relatives is because of the support and help grandparents can provide in helping to raise children.
Provided your parents are up to the challenges of looking after energetic children, the benefits to children of having their grandparents close at hand are innumerable. Often grandparents have the patience, wisdom and sense of perspective that busy working parents just don’t have.
Caring for Elder Family Members
Of course, if your parents or in-laws are at the time in their life when they require more care and you are their primary carer, living together means you are able to monitor and attend to their needs or see that they are getting the daily care they require. It also provides valuable companionship to elderly parents who may otherwise feel isolated.
Options for Multigenerational Living
While the benefits are many, multi-generational living presents its own challenges which must be acknowledged. Lack of privacy, adequate space, splitting responsibility for household chores and financial contributions can all add to the stress of inter-generational living.
Whether you’re caring for an elderly relative, or you’re an older person living with your children and grandchildren, or an adult child living with your parents, everyone needs their own personal space and privacy from time to time.
More and more Australian families are opting to add a granny flat to their home to ease the pressure of inter-generation living and boost the value of their property at the same time.
For more information on how adding a granny flat to your property could give family members the privacy and independence they need, as well as the long term investment value of granny flats, contact us online or give us a call on 02 9119 1826.