Homebuying for Multigenerational Households


Helping aging parents while managing careers and raising a family can be a challenge. If you’re considering having your parents live with you, this list will help you choose the right home to meet everyone’s wants and needs.

First, sit everyone down who will be affected by the arrangement for a friendly pow-wow. Ask for a wish list from each person, including the kids, of desired features in a new home. Ask for concerns and expectations, and you can head off potential conflicts in advance. Make sure your parents don’t feel like indentured babysitters, and that kids show respect for your parents’ age and limitations.

Make sure everyone knows that you’ll do your best to meet as many wants and needs as possible, but you’ll have to prioritize. Compromises and patience will be required of everyone.

Who will own the new home? If you use your parents’ retirement income to buy a home, it will help you qualify for a larger, more expensive place. They can be tenants-in-common and be equally responsible for paying the mortgage. All co-owners must qualify with the lender.

You can buy the home and have a rental agreement with your parents. That will show more income to help you qualify for a larger mortgage. Or, you can let them live with you and pay what they can.

Last, consider privacy for all concerned. It’s ideal if your parents can have their own suite of rooms, including a bedroom, living area, private bath and kitchenette.