At different times over the past century, Americans have found themselves living under the same roofs with family members of multiple generations.
The financial hardships of the Depression spawned generational living in many U.S. households. The housing shortage of 1946-50, immediately after World War II, triggered the same full-house phenomenon. Today, it’s happening once again. A recent Harris Poll for Bloomberg found roughly 45% of those ages 18 to 29 are living in their parents’ homes. That represents the highest percentage since – you guessed it – the 1940s. Add the large number of grandparents living with their kids and grandkids, and you have multi-generational living redux.
Whether the causes are evolving societal dynamics, a renewed appreciation of the importance of generational bonding or – as is far more likely – a simple shortage of cash, today’s housing is more valuable if it can respond to multiple generations. What follows are short thumbnails of upscale residential designs appealing to all ages.
Prado, Las Vegas, Nev.
Versatility is the byword of this development from acclaimed, Las Vegas-based, design-led development firm Blue Heron. Cocooned in the coveted enclave of Section 10 in West Las Vegas, the community offers an assortment of sprawling single-family homes that marry functionality with multigenerational living.
Buyers have the opportunity to choose either one- or two-level homes as well as detached casitas. These options can blend privacy and independence when desired with a sense of belonging when that feeling is sought.
“When designing modern luxury homes for generational living, it’s very important to create spaces for getting together and privacy,” says Chris Beucler, Blue Heron’s Nexus Division president. “Prado, located in an iconic neighborhood of Vegas estates, excels at that. Every home in Prado is on half-acre lots with incredible generational suites with private bedroom, bathroom and sitting area, and detached casitas for even more space and privacy, making it a fantastic place for expanding families.”
Whitetail Club, McCall, Idaho
This private real estate community and club appeals to many buyers, including those who want year-round residences able to accommodate the entire family.
Among popular design features sought by buyers of custom homes are attached “mother-in-law suites” and detached rooms, both of which allow for a blend of privacy and togetherness.
“At Whitetail Club, the basis of our community is set up for multi-generational use, and our architects always keep this in mind when designing custom homes for members, who plan to make memories with grandparents, parents, kids and grandkids, for generations to come,” says Joey Snyder, Whitetail Club real estate sales executive. “Of our custom builds, many feature a minimum of four-bedrooms, all with ensuite bathrooms, a large flex space that may double as a bunkroom, stand-alone living areas and an open-concept living room that flows into the kitchen and dining areas, creating a space for the entire family.”
Stanly Ranch Residences, Napa, Calif.
Among the exceptional features of the 3.5-bedroom Vineyard Homes’ Oak and Madrone floor plans at Stanly Ranch is a groundbreaking design enabling interior rooms of the residences to be entered via exterior courtyards.
The result: Family members can enjoy serenity and, when desired, separation from the gatherings in the larger residence, while savoring the spectacular natural landscape served up by the surrounding Napa Valley.
Kohanaiki, Kona, Big Island, Hawaii
A 450-acre, private residential community situated on the Big Island’s picturesque Kona Coast, Kohanaiki offers a private club experience delivering something for every generation of the family. Real estate options include estate homesites, custom single-family homes and paired townhome-style dwellings. Experiences range from golf and spa treatments for older and younger adult family members, water sports for teens and educational alternatives for the youngsters in any family group.