More Americans choosing to live in multigenerational housing

Grandparents, parents and kids all under one roof
Posted at 4:40 PM, Nov 21, 2019

More families are choosing to live in multigenerational housing, which can mean grandparents, parents and children all under one roof.

John Pattison lives in a 2,300-square-foot house with eight people.

“I live in a house with three families, four generations and two dogs,” Pattison said.

They call their Oregon home "the burrow." It has four bedrooms and two bathrooms. He lives there with his wife, kids, and two other couples. Their ages range from 5 to almost 60.

“I like having a lot of people around that I can talk to,” John’s daughter Molly said on community living. “Emily and Elijah are like my big siblings that got married and never moved out.”

A growing number of Americans are choosing to live in homes with multiple generations of friends or family. As of 2016, one in five Americans live in a multigenerational household, which the U.S. Census Bureau defines as more than two generations living under one roof.

That’s a record of more than 64 million people now living that way, and that number has been rising since 1970.

“People choose to live this way for practical reasons,” Pattison said.

“Cost of living. I think it’s very very simple, it’s all about the dollars. That’s why it’s becoming more common,” said Chris Lopez, a real estate agent with Your Castle Real Estate.

Lopez also lives in a multigenerational home with his wife, young kids and his wife’s mother.

“We are easily saving $2,000 a month, if not more, between shared living expenses, housing costs, miscellaneous costs but mostly just day care,” he said. “If you look at the numbers there, you can save a breathtaking amount of money. “

The cost of “basic necessities” has risen more than inflation over the past 30 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But money isn’t the only driving force behind this housing trend.

“I think it’s a combination of the cultural, finances, and just quality of life,” Lopez said. “We’ve been at it for almost two years now and having my wife’s mother live with us, it’s a better quality of life for all of us.”

“For us, it’s also about community,” Pattison said.