NELA Living Blog by Emilie Broughton

Choosing a House for Multiple Generations

Families who are worried about older family members in senior living facilities are looking for properties that are built to accommodate multiple generations.  They are looking for homes that have an extra bedroom and bath, a “granny flat” or an accessory dwelling unit (ADU).  Still others seek properties with enough room and appropriate zoning to construct an ADU on the property.

ADUs are independent units that have their own kitchens, bathrooms, living areas, and entrances. Although similar to a guesthouse an ADU should have its own kitchen, bathroom, dedicated entrance, and at least one parking space. In the future it might be repurposed as a rental or Air B&B. Another benefit to building an ADU or “backyard cottage” on your property is the potential resale value. Having a granny flat is a popular feature, especially in recent years. This allows you raise your asking price and be more competitive within the market.  ADUs can be a great return on investment as well.

It has been calculated that a planned space plus in-home care can be cheaper that assisted living in many cases.  Some considerations when modifying or creating any new living spaces for the elderly include: wider doorways, no-glare lighting and no thresholds.

Adapted from “These Homes Keep it All in the Family”  Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2020

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