Is multigenerational living a way to get ahead in the property game?

by | Nov 20, 2022

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on all areas of our lives are still coming to the surface, and for young Australians wanting to get their finances in order and have a hope of getting on the property ladder, they are taking what some might call drastic measures. Living with their parents and/or grandparents in the same house for the long term is becoming the norm.

In fact, young people in Australia are opting to stay at home longer, and older Australians are moving in with their families for a whole host of reasons.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released data that showed a rise in homes containing three generations, from 275,000 in 2016 to 335,000 in 2021.  Australian households where two generations of adults lived under the same roof showed even more growth.

What are the benefits and pitfalls of multigenerational living?

There are many benefits to multigenerational living, including increased support and companionship, shared wisdom and experience, and a stronger sense of community. But there are a few things to keep in mind to make the experience enjoyable for everyone.

It’s important to have open communication with all members of the household. Discuss everyone’s needs and expectations, and be sure to set clear boundaries. Parties, gatherings, having friends over and cooking/cleaning responsibilities can all cause major arguments if the details aren’t discussed early on.

It’s also important to consider the financial implications of multigenerational living. For example, if you’re taking on a mortgage, you’ll need to make sure that all members of the household are able to contribute, or you make alternative arrangements if that works better.

There might also be a need to spend money to modify the home to enable various family members to comfortably live there – adding bathrooms, bedrooms, extensions, accessible doorways, etc. all need to be factored into the decision.

The social benefits are also not to be overlooked, including bringing together the older generations who might otherwise need specific medical assistance or care as well as the younger family members who would benefit from the family connections.

If you’re considering multigenerational living, take the time to weigh all the pros and cons. It’s a big decision, but it can be a great way to strengthen bonds within your family as well as save money.

How other cultures do it

Around the world, it’s much more common for multiple generations of family members to live together, and it’s rarely just a financial matter. In Italy, for example, it is common for young people to stay home until their late 20s or even mid-30s because their sense of family connection means they want to stay close to work and study. In Asia, this is also common where the grandparents have a very active role in the upbringing of their grandchildren (often more so than their own children due to work commitments).

Of course, there is no one way that suits everyone but if multigenerational living works for you, then there can be some amazing benefits.

Christian Paterson, Auctus Coaching

Christian Paterson

Director, Head Coach

I love nothing more than helping hardworking brokers to work smarter and enjoy their business while growing an incredibly profitable and efficient operation.