In-Law Suites Providing the Right Space for Multigenerational Homes

Buying a Home with an In-law Suite for a Multigenerational HomeNot every buyer is looking for a new home that is tailored just for themselves, their spouses and their children. You may be in the market for a house that also provides living spaces for aging parents. With people living longer, your parents may no longer be able to stay in their own home. They may need help with performing daily chores or require some level of in-home senior care. Yet nobody wants them to move into a nursing home or retirement home.

So you may be looking for a home that can accommodate seniors. To have the right layout and space in the house, you may want to consider buying a place that has an in-law suite.

Privacy and Independence

In-law suites, also known as mother-in-law suites or granny flats, are private units that are still a part of the original home. Much like an apartment unit, the in-law suite will have a simple living space, kitchen area, bathroom, and bedroom. It can have a private entrance or share certain rooms of the house with everyone else. The in-law suite may be in the basement, the attic, or another section of the house. Other in-law suites are separate from the house, such as a cottage or converted garage, with a breezeway connecting it to the house.

In-law suites are perfect when you need a multigenerational home because it still allows your relatives to live with you without everybody feeling closed in. Your aging parents can shut the door and have their privacy to cook their own meals and seek out their own entertainment. Yet they can still come and join the other family members in the rest of the house.

What to Look for in an In-Law Suite

Take into consideration your aging parents’ physical requirements when looking for a house with an in-law suite. If your relatives have mobility issues, then having the in-law suite in the basement or attic where they have to navigate along stairs could be too much of a hassle for them. You may want to look for an in-law suite with a single floor. Also consider looking for a place that can be easily modified when your aging parents’ health changes.

If you can’t locate an in-law suite in the desired location, then look for a property that can be renovated into a multigenerational home. When building an in-law suite, keep in mind that attic conversions are costlier than basement conversions. You will have to add stairs, raise a roof, or strengthen the foundation to support the extra weight of the attic space.

When sitting down and discussing an in-law suite with your parents, everyone may come to the decision that a separate cottage on the same lot would be more to your parents’ liking. Before breaking ground for this other building, you will need to check local building and zoning laws in regards to building additional structures. Then you will need to pull the proper permits so the cottage is built to code.

Long-term Adaptability

An in-law suite provides you with the right amount of space for your parents to move into your new home. If the time comes for them to move to a nursing home for more advanced care, you can always rent out the space to college students, couples, or exchange students to bring in an extra income. You can also turn it into an office space so you will always be able to use it to your needs.

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