Considering buying a home with family members?

Brent Palmer
Brent Palmer
Published on December 20, 2017

You’ve heard of “location, location, location”, here is a new one for you, “multigenerational housing”, housing that caters to more than one generation under one roof. Although it has been around for a while, it is only just gaining popularity lately.

Demand for buying a home with family members has risen over the last few years due to unemployment sending young workers back to Mum and Dad’s house. Trend is showing the millennials are tending to put off marriage till later and remain at home longer. Cheaper rent (or in some cases no rent at all) resulting in a better deposit when choosing to buy for themselves.

Other Countries have embraced multigenerational living for some time and this is common practise in Asian and Hispanic cultures. When moving to new Countries and starting new lives this practise has moved with them too. So if you are thinking about moving back in with your kids, having your parents come live with you or even your Grandparents, here are a few tips to help.

Advantages of Multigenerational Living

  • sharing expenses to keep costs down
  • combined income to reduce the financial burden
  • ability to save more money
  • care of the elderly
  • care of young children
  • care of high needs family members
  • strengthening family bonds across generations
  • companionship
  • practical help with everyday activities and chores

Disadvantages of Multigenerational Living

  • there can be increase in family arguments
  • extra stress if one member(s) want out
  • crowded housing if not a suitable homes

There are always negatives to anything in life but the advantages of these living arrangements usually outweigh any negatives.

Home shopping tips

One of the more important things to consider when shopping for your Multi-gen home is privacy. Having an area to call your own is really important, every family member should have a place they can call theirs. Somewhere to be alone or some privacy for a couple. Living with other adults not in a flatting situation is very different, especially when you are related. This doesn’t have to mean that there is a bedroom and lounge or study for every member of the house. You might want to consider adding in a wall or divider into a large lounge to create extra space or building a separate unit on the property. Take into account the size of the property, covenants and council regulations that may prevent you from doing this. When it comes to the council, don’t be afraid to jump through a few hoops to make it happen though.

The money stuff

Now for the potentially uncomfortable stuff, money. This is something that needs to be discussed and agreed upon by everyone before considering going ahead. If you are buying with your parents or Adult children you all need to be aware that this is an ‘Adult’ financial decision and rank should not be pulled. Everyone is a contributing member, ideally equally to avoid being overruled on decisions later on as you are the lesser shareholder. You will need to also work out how much everyone will pay towards the deposit, mortgage, rates and insurance.

Before starting to look at property get together and have a conversation about what you must have in a home and what you don’t want or like. Be open an honest and let everyone have their fair say.

Who will actually buy the property and hold the title, or will you place the house in a trust. These are other big ticket items to discuss. You will need to have things covered such as what happens when a family member passes or wants out. It’s always a good idea to talk to a lawyer to make sure you have everything covered.

Talk to one another

All families are different. Some are great communicators while others are more the strong silent type. Now is the time to talk about everything to do with your possible new merger. Not just the big stuff like the purchase and insurance, but the smaller day to day things. Will you all do shared meals and groceries or your own thing? Keep in mind some going into the house may have more cash flow than others and prefer eye fillet steak to mince. Will you do a cleaning roster or assign different areas of the house to look after. Pets is something else to consider, is everyone happy to have a dog, cat or bird in the house and will there be an expectation of others to look after your treasured pet when you go away.

It’s a good idea to start making a list of all the questions you may have or any ideas you may want to present. No question should be out of bounds as this is going to be your home. Through open and honest communication you will be amazed at what you can achieve.


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Brent Palmer – Professional Real Estate Consultant

About the Author: The above article on Buying a Home with Family Members was written and provided by Brent Palmer, a local leader in the field of Richmond and Nelson Real Estate sales, marketing, advanced technology for home selling, and social media. You can contact Brent Palmer here, or at 027 544 9921.

He has helped many people buy and sell homes in the Nelson, Stoke and Richmond areas for years, and would love the opportunity to help you as well.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a real passion for helping people sell their homes in our Nelson and Tasman Region, as well as the marketing, social media & advanced technology for home selling that goes along with it. I’d love to have the opportunity to sit down with you discuss how we can work together to get you the best price.

I help people buy and sell real estate in the following Nelson and Tasman  towns  & neighbourhoods: Wakefield, Brightwater, Hope, Appleby, Redwood Valley, Mapua, Stoke, Tahunanui, Atawhai and of course, Richmond and Nelson City. Connect with Brent on Facebook and pretty much everywhere else.

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