6 Best Functional Designs to Appeal to Multigenerational Families


Over the past two years, many industries have struggled to stay afloat amid the global pandemic. The real estate industry, however, flourished! Homebuyers were able to secure mortgages with historically low-interest rates. Sellers were receiving offers from buyers who were willing to pay more than the home’s true value – some even offered to pay cash!

Although the market still favors sellers, it’s beginning to cool. Rates are rising, the economy is in turmoil, and people are feeling the squeeze. One of the ways people are coping with the changing market and economic uncertainty is by consolidating households and embracing multigenerational living.

There are nearly 60 million American households that are living with multiple generations, and it’s likely that the people who come to see your property are one of them. If you want to appeal to the broadest pool of buyers, then these functional ideas are a good start. Just be sure to consult your real estate agent to see which improvements to focus on first. They’ll look at comps with similar features and can price your home fairly.

  1. Accessible bathrooms

A bathroom that isn’t designed with safety in mind may be a hard sell, but for families with older family members or those with mobility issues… It can be a deal breaker. You could do a complete bathroom overhaul and install a walk-in tub, higher toilets, and large vanities. You could also keep it simple and install grab bars near the toilet and tub, add open storage within easy reach, and switch out the light fixtures so that the space is nice and bright.

  1. Motorized kitchen cabinets, counters, and appliances

The kitchen is usually the one place in the home where everyone likes to congregate and catch up while preparing their meals. Why not make the kitchen accessible for everyone? You can do this by going high-tech and installing motors to adjust the height of the counters and cabinets. Motorized cabinets and counters are useful for anyone who has trouble stretching, who are wheelchair-bound, or who’s just short. You can also use the motors to adjust the height of the stove.

  1. Larger doorways

Most homes will have doors that are between 28 to 32 inches wide and that works well for them. However, it’s not uncommon for multigenerational homeowners to have family members in wheelchairs or use walkers to struggle navigating doorways. If there’s ever an emergency and the paramedics need to come, they’re going to struggle as well. So instead of keeping the smaller width doors, consider installing doors that are 40 inches or more.

  1. Create a space for communal gathering

The kitchen and living room may be a nice place to catch up with others, but it’s always nice to have some place designed specifically for socializing. You can create an entertaining space outdoors by building a deck or patio. You can finish a basement and turn it into an entertaining space.

  1. Improve lighting around the house

No matter who is living in the house, proper lighting is important. You can update your lighting by replacing the regular lightbulbs with LED bulbs that are usually brighter. You could install more overhead lighting, especially in hallways, stairways, bathrooms, and the kitchen.

  1. Additional dwelling units for privacy

Additional dwelling units are highly desirable among multigenerational households because they give people an independent living space and privacy. There are all sorts of ADUs that you could opt for, but it’s strongly recommended to consult your real estate agent beforehand. They’ll tell you what kind of ADU is popular in the local market (if at all). It could be a complete guest house with all the trappings you’d expect, or it could be a simple ensuite.

Multigenerational families seek functional homes

The real estate market can be a fickle beast, and buyer trends ebb and flow. It would seem that multigenerational living is going more common going forward, especially if the economy continues as it is.

The truth of the matter is, multigenerational living is the way we can ensure our elderly loved ones are getting the proper care that they deserve. Multigenerational living can give younger adults a chance to save up so they can eventually buy their own homes.

It doesn’t matter why several generations are living together under one roof. The only thing that matters is that they can find homes that are functional for every member of the household. These functional design ideas are just a small sample of what you could do. Your real estate agent can help you determine what else you can do based on the demands of the local market.

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