The pandemic, followed by the cost of living crisis, continues to shape our approach to living. A notable trend is for grown up children wanting to move back into the family home but are parents ready to receive their offspring once again?
If the findings of Aviva’s How We Live survey are anything to go by, we could see a property reshuffle as multi-generational living makes a comeback. It’s a sentiment being led by the so-called ‘boomerang generation’ – adult children who have lived away from the family home but are haggling for an invite back.
Back for good?
The How We Live survey provides a fascinating insight into the thinking of both young adults and their parents, with 3,000 people questioned – all in different living arrangements. Of the grown up children aged between 18 to 34 who were living away from home, 9% had already discussed the idea of moving back to the family home.
Another 8% had thought about moving back in but hadn’t discussed the idea with their parents, while 5% said they intended to move back. When it comes to parents, 28% felt their child had plans to move back in or had shown an interest in doing so.
When the nest is never empty
The survey also found 59% of adult children who live with parents have moved out at least once before returning to live with parents, with a fifth of people in this group having done this on more than one occasion. It’s this type of behaviour that has led to the ‘boomerang’ nickname. It’s also a warning sign that the ‘empty nest’ years may be a thing of the past, with those having downsized already having to reconsider their property future with children once again a priority.
If your current home isn’t set up for boomerang children, but you’d like the option to reunite your family, selling your home and buying something more suitable can offer a solution.
Consider a townhouse
While some home owners can’t get along with living spread over three or four storeys, the set-up of a townhouse can work really well when adult children return home. The space configuration makes it possible for each generation to have their own floor designated for sleeping, and it’s more common for there to be multiple bathrooms for extra privacy.
Buy a property with potential
If you think your future may hold multi-generational living, you could buy a property that has extension potential. It’s a flexible way to futureproof without committing up front. A loft conversion can yield a self-contained bedroom/bathroom/sitting room suite, while a garage conversion is a popular way to add space.
Add or convert an outbuilding
Maybe it’s time to rebrand the granny annex the boomerang outbuilding. There are two routes to follow if you think separate living accommodation at the same property is best. You can build an annexe on your land from scratch, although it would need planning permission if it contained facilities such as a bathroom, kitchen and bedroom. If you find a property with an established outbuilding, this can be converted into secondary accommodation via a ‘change of use’ request.
Buy a bigger property
This may feel counterintuitive at a time when many parents think about downsizing and living mortgage free but a bigger property can be the easiest way to prepare for returning children. If a move of this nature requires extra finance, some niche mortgage lenders will sanction home loans for those in their 60s, 70s and even 80s. An alternative solution is to ask a grown up child to become a mortgage guarantor.
We have a variety of properties for sale that suit every type of family set up and home moving milestone. Contact us to talk about your next step.