One Roof, Two Generations
For many adult children, going over the hill and through the woods to Grandma’s house has been replaced by going across the hall or down the stairs. The reasons may be varied, but for many boomerang kids who have moved back home after college or military service, or because of life changes such as divorce or job loss, getting on solid financial ground is the main goal.
With multi-generation households on the rise, builders are increasingly catering to this new demographic. Pardee Homes’ innovative new concept, the GenSmart Suite, is a perfect solution for two (or more)-generation households. These private suites, a home within a home, offer private entrances and their own individual living, eating and sleeping spaces. Adult children have privacy and independence while you have the comfort of your own routine and household duties.
Living arrangements with grown children can be a positive experience, but experts all agree: set some ground rules first. Here are some suggestions from AARP and The Washington Post to make the transition easier for all of you:
Your home, your rules. A big issue for adult children may be that they think there should be no rules in their parents’ homes. But moving home is a privilege, especially if you are paying the mortgage. Agree to parameters regarding a job, guest privileges, meals and even personal hygiene. Make it clear that if he or she does not agree to the rules, the child will have to leave.
Written contracts. Talk openly with each other and share expectations. Financial experts suggest adult children should contribute to their room and board by paying an agreed upon sum. The habit of having responsibility is good for them – and you. Make sure the agreed upon rules, rent, date due each month and late or no pay consequences are clearly spelled out in a written document and signed by both of you.
Encourage independence. Your child may be moving home after losing a job or ending a relationship. If he or she needs TLC, by all means, provide it. But don’t allow unhealthy habits to form. Encourage a continued job search, volunteering, church connection, help with household tasks or a myriad of other activities to keep Junior productive.
Schedule a move-out date. Establish a reasonable timeline to help your child reach independence.