Multi-generational Living

So a few updates, literally the same week we finished decorating the nursery, we accepted an offer to buy our house. Isn’t that just the way life works? We’re very excited to be moving on, but will miss our beautiful home! We’ve already cleared inspection and things seem to be on track for a mid-July closing (fingers crossed). The only complication is, well I also have a baby due in July and we obviously need someplace to go!

Did you guys know that multi-generational living is on the rise around the country? It’s true! Driven by the 2008 recession, a slow recovery, and an aging boomer population, more and more American families are deciding to double up generations in a single home.

It has a lot of benefits. For aging parents, it can be a way to offload some of the burdens of keeping up a home, or  a path to avoid assisted living. For young families, it can be a huge benefit to have grandparents on hand to help out with some of the childcare. And for all it can be a huge money-saver. Not to mention the benefits that can accrue to relationships between the generations.

Most of my childhood was spent 2000+ miles away from either set of my grandparents, and in a lot of ways I feel like I missed out on knowing them as well as I could have. I had great grandparents and have cherished memories of visits with both sets, but in comparison to kids who grew up with grandparents as part of daily life, my relationships weren’t nearly as close. I have incredible parents and I want my son to have every opportunity to know them as well he possibly can.  Also, we just generally like being together. A lot. We probably all have dinner together twice a week and I’m with my folks for lunch at least that often. When our schedules don’t align, or they’re down in Florida for long stretches of time, I miss them tons!  So as we make plans for this next phase of life, I know I want to be close to my parents. How close? We’re starting to think there might be some real value for all of us in living under one roof.

In the past when Aaron and I had discussed the possibility of selling our current home in the wake of missing out on a dream house, we’d struggled on where to go next. My job is in Columbus, and I know that commuting makes me really unhappy, plus I plan to try breastfeed and while I could certainly do that and commute, it would be a lot easier and nicer to be able to actually breastfeed as opposed to pumping over lunch.  So a natural choice would have been to look for a different home in Columbus, but when we talked about it, it just didn’t feel right. Columbus is great, it really is, for a whole lot of people, for a whole lot of reasons. However, the conventional wisdom says if you’re not planning to stay someplace for 3-5 years, you shouldn’t buy a house, and if we were sure about staying in Columbus another 5 years, we’d have just invested more heavily in our current lovely house. We don’t feel like we can commit to Columbus for 5 more years right now.  Aaron’s job is in Indianapolis, and he’s been a major trooper about the commute but it is full of trade-offs and bummers and as our family grows, we’re not sure how this will play out. We may choose to stay right here, and if as we start to have answers to more of our ‘how are we going to do this” questions point back toward Columbus, we can always buy another house… or we may want to explore other options (splitting the commuting difference, job changes, something else entirely?).  But right now, as we figure things out, we don’t really want the ties that accompany real estate.

We considered renting, but Columbus has a stupidly tight and expensive rental market thanks in large part to our booming job market. Plus renting just bums me out because I like the freedom to renovate and change things. So if we’re not buying, and we’re not renting, what the heck are we doing? Well if you haven’t guessed from where this post started…. we’re moving in with my Mom and Dad.

Although it certainly wouldn’t be for everyone, for us, it 100% feels like the right choice.

I feel really fortunate that my husband and my parents are so compatible.  We stayed with them for a couple of weeks when we had some pre-sale plaster repairs done at our house to keep me out of the dust, and we all really had fun. Our goal is to stay there for the next year or two at which point we hope to have a better idea of where we might like to buy next.

My parents are at the stage in life where they are ready to downsize. They’re no longer interested in the all up-keep that goes along with large home and while they’re emotionally very ready to sell the place they’ve called home for the better part of two decades, the home is not quite market ready. It’s in a lovely, desirable neighborhood in Columbus with great schools, but it hasn’t been updated really in the whole time they’ve owned it so it’s in need of some sprucing and TLC for them to attract the right buyer and be able to sell it for a price that makes sense. Since Aaron and I love this stuff, we can lead the charge to get things freshened up which we hope will put my parents closer to their goal of getting out of the house, and we’ll have back up and help with the new baby. Win-win! We’ll all also be able to split expenses which is just nice for everyone as Aaron. So other than the hassle of having to deal with downsizing two households full of stuff so that we fit into one house while I’m 9 months pregnant, it’s all hopefully upside, for everyone.

Stay tuned for the details on how we plan to try to manage the move and our updating plans for our new (old) home.




Posted in Family Style, Home Sweet Home Tagged with: ,
2 comments on “Multi-generational Living
  1. Williamsype says:

    Appreciate you sharing, great forum topic.Thanks Again. Want more. Poetzsch

  2. Becky says:

    Wow, lots of changes coming your way! Excited about the sale of your house although I’m sure it’s bitter sweet. Love the blog, keep it up!

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  1. […] think there is anything wrong with family helping family when times get hard, but there are other valid (IMO) reasons for wanting to do this. I think the “modern” conception that we are supposed to go it […]

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