Patios by Aldo Rampazzi Studio di Architettura

Why you should build a house for two generations!

Leigh Leigh
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With globalisation, many of us moving to different cities for work opportunities, family members emigrating and our children going off to university, many of us don't think about investing in a home that will serve the future generations—our children and our children's children! We also don't think about moving in with our parents or grandparents.

In the old days, it was very common for people to spend their entire lives in one home and to then even end up having their children grow up in these homes. People often lived with their grandparents and their children all at the same time. There were many good reasons for this!

Today, at homify, we are going to provide you with six reasons why we should go back to building a house for two or three generations. You'll be incredibly surprised and delighted by these tips!

Economically viable

Sharing the building costs of a home with several members of your family is certainly going to save money. You may even be able to all chip in and pay the house off in one go, which means no bond repayments! 

More people in the house also means that the day to day finances are shared. Grocery, water and electricity bills can be split each week.

This also frees up money so that you can go on that family holiday you've often talked about or add a second-storey to your home. 

Remember that if your grandparents or parents live at home with you, even if they need a nurse or a caretaker, it's cheaper (and far more pleasant) than paying for a nursing home or a retirement village. Your kids will also have constant babysitters, which again cuts back on the costs.

Utilise existing family land

If your parents own property or land, you can work with what is available rather than investing in a whole new home or piece of land. 

In South African cities, the number of houses and people increases steadily each year, resulting in urban sprawl. You often have to spend a lot of money to find property that is close to the CBD or work areas. If your parents or a family member already own land in these areas, this can make a huge difference, especially if it is quite a large piece of land.

You also don't have to build one house on the property. You can build several small cottages so that the parents have their privacy and still feel like the land is their own.

This is a very modern and sustainable way of living!

The village raises the child

As the proverb goes, It takes a village to raise a child.

By investing in a property for several generations of one family, you'll have created a whole community support base for each member of your family. This will be especially beneficial for your children.

Not only does this mean that they will have plenty of babysitters, but they will also learn different skills and talents from different members of the family. There will also be less pressure on you to cook, clean, go to work and raise your children.

It will keep your parents young too, having children in the house to play with! 

(While we are on the subject of children, have a look at this ideabook on: Making your garden safe for kids.)

The grandparents benefit too

We've touched a little bit on how having kids in the house will keep the grandparents young, but we can also take this a step further! The grandparents can be cared for by the whole family, including the children.

When granny is feeling sick, your daughter can take her a cup of tea while you son can play cards with grandpa when he's feeling bored. 

You can also get the grandparents involved in household projects such as watering the flowers and the plants in the garden, sweeping the floors or cooking up a feast. This will keep them busy and active!

Lock up and go

If you share your home with other generations, you also have the opportunity to travel more—and not just because of the amount of money that you will be saving.

If you have pets or plants that need to be watered, you don't have to worry about hiring a house sitter or a pet sitter. Simply kiss your parents or adult children good bye and get going! Because it is their home too, you can trust them to take the very best care of it.

Closer family ties

There is no doubt that by living with more members of your family, you can truly foster a closer family relationship with every single person. 

You will be spending more time together, relying on each other more and looking after each other more. This will create stronger bonds and ties as well as ensure that your children grow up with a solid support system and sense of community and family.

Chat to a professional architect or designer about the best way to design a home for two or three generations!

Would you live in a two or three generation house?
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