Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Purchasing a "Multi-Generational" Home

The Headlines:

Love Grandma?  Have a Favorite Aunt?

Maybe you should buy a home together?

It's called a Multi-generational home.

It's been a while since I've written.  Not sure if you've noticed but Real Estate has gone a little bonkers.  Because of that, as well as the other things life throws at a woman my age, in my "stage"... writing has taken a back seat.  Yes, I've been busier than ever in 2021 writing contracts, showing houses, negotiating deals... making dreams start at home.

It's pretty clear - People want to move.  This was bound to happen after COVID.  I wrote about it the minute we were all "locked in" last year.  We all hung out in our houses for a really long time.  Many of us... got sick of them.  Add that to record low inventories all over the country and you get what we're seeing now in the housing market.  Real Estate is cray.

I've had countless conversations with people who want to cash in on the market.  The problem?  They don't know where to go. There seem to be only 2 choices: either A) move to a new location/state where prices have remained lower than where they currently live or B) stay in your home.


But, there is one more option some families could potentially use...

Multi-Generational housing, by the way, has been going on forever in other countries.  But us Americans - like our space.  You  remember your Grandma?  She didn't want anything to do with moving in to your parents home.  But other cultures do it all the time and we're just now catching on.    

How does it work?  Of course there are many ways to go about this but essentially... Grandma has a home, she sells it, takes the money she gets from that sale and uses it to help a family member (son/daughter/niece) purchase the new, larger home that she can then live in with the core family.  Basically, you're pooling together more money to buy the home that will work for everyone.  Of course, specifically how this works out (dollars wise) - consult your family attorney, money manager, tax professional and/or mortgage broker.

According to a study done by Generation United,  multi-generational houses have increased 271% in the last 10 years - with more than 1 in 4 Americans living in this type of situation.  The reasons, according to GU, are many.  Not just purchasing a "new house".  In fact, that's just the off-set benefit.  Eldercare and child care are the leading reasons.  People need help with raising their family so they move in together.  Both at 34%.  Followed by job loss or unemployment, healthcare costs,  cultural expectations and education/retraining.  See the full article HERE

Living together with your extended family does indeed save money and can help that home upgrade... but there are strings.  

Here are 5 things to think about:

1. Grandma will need to be taken care of at a certain point.  

She may help now but that won't last forever.  My Mom came to live with me 2 years ago after my Father passed away and it was determined she had Alzheimers.  We did not move... (maybe should have)  We were going to build a casita on our property but then we decided maybe we would just buy a larger house.  Soon after, COVID hit.  We never left. 

I can handle her now - but for how long?  

2.  Bills, including food, electricity, etc... will be higher.

Who pays for that?  How is it split?  Remember college?  When you got mad at your roomie for eating your cookies?  Those days are gone.  Sharing is in full swing at multi-generational houses.  But define who pays for what up front. 

3. The core family will never be alone.  

The need to carve family time becomes important.  Grandpa may feel left out when you take just your two sons to dinner - but you have to... tell him that up front.  Make sure everyone understands the family "unit" still needs to be intact.  You're just changing the dynamics a bit.

4. Where will people spend their leisure time? 

Is there defined space in the new home?  Will Gram have her own "living room"?  Or does she have to share the kitchen?  Is her own room her main living area?  What about bathroom space? It doesn't matter what the arrangements are - just talk about them up front.

5. Parallel or Perpendicular family values? 

The main reason living with Mother/Father/Grandmother/Grandfather/Aunt/Uncle can be challenging is  simply: all adults have their own ideas on how things should "operate" in a household.  So, in a new house you purchase together - which rules, well, rule? 

Are you going to church every Sunday?  What constitutes "healthy eating"?  Is there a bed time?  How often and how late do we have guests over?  Bottom line, do your values line up?  And if they don't - can you agree to deal, talk, resolve?  This may be the most important point because living together is a big decision and you need to make sure everyone can do so.. in peace.  Otherwise, it doesn't matter how big that house is!!!

Finally Tonight,

I'm a proponent of Multi-Generational houses.  In a lot of cases it's the right thing to do for many reasons.  I am living that right now.  No doubt, it comes with its own set of challenges but there's no other way I'd have it.  There are so many positive things that can come out of the arrangement... (besides and in addition to getting a bigger/better home).  This time is precious.  It isn't here forever.  Maybe not even tomorrow.  For us, living with my Mom is a blessing. But it is not for everyone.  If living with your loved ones feels like an opportunity for love first and financial opportunity second...  you're on the right track.  

Let me know if  can help you and your family with a dream home of your own. 



Monday, November 30, 2020

5 Reasons to Stage A Home

 The Headlines:

Wanna get the most out of your Home Sale? 

Consider staging it.

I am Realtor.  I love houses.  Buying, selling, decorating, remodeling.  I love it all. 

In the past, I haven't staged houses.  So many people have gotten good at decorating (thank you Pinterest) there's not always a need.  But turns out there are some very good reasons to stage a home. 

What are they?  Read on.

1 - It's empty.   This is an obvious one.  A house without anything in it can be a tad boring to look at.  Staging changes that!

2 - The homeowner is more mature.  People are like fine wines... we get better with age.  I whole heartedly believe this.  But sometimes, and I mean no offense here... as we age, we can become a little skewed as to what is "in".  This goes for almost everything: clothes, make-up styles, food, furniture.  It may have been amazing when you placed it there 20 years ago but to that potential buyer who's a 34 year old mother of 2... she's not impressed.  

Let me give you an example.  My daughter is 14.  Last year, she had to have Air Force Ones... I thought Vans were still the thing.  I was wrong.  Turns out Air Forces were 100% the THING.  Those shoes on her feet made her feel shiny, new and cool.  The same kinda goes for houses.  When some people reach a certain age they may not really know, like or care about trends in home styling anymore.  And that's ok by the way... they're supposed to be playing more golf and drinking more martinis!  However, that's also when they need stagers to bring them up to date. 

According to an article compiled by the National Association of Realtors, the largest group of homebuyers in 2020 are the Older Gen Y/Millenials ages 30-39 coming in at 25%.  Ages 40-54, the so called Gen Xers, are in a close second coming in at 23% of the home buyers.  

They have money and they're ready to buy.  May be a reason to stage.  Just sayin'...

See the whole NAR article: HERE

3 - Quick sale.  Really want to sell that house?  There's 2 things you can do.  Bring that price down and/or stage it.   

4 -The house is amazing but the decor is not.  This is a hard one.  Bottom line here is, not everyone has good taste.  As a Realtor,  it's kind of your job to help the seller put their best foot forward and that could mean suggesting a stager.  This has actually happened to me before:  the coffee table is absolutely horrendous.  But it's the homeowners prized possession.  They think the coffee table alone may sell the house.  When it all actuality, it's so bad it could kill the deal (well, maybe...).  

Turns out,  if you have a good house, it may sell.  But if you stage a good house - it WILL sell. 

5 - Helping BUYERS find their vision.   Some buyers really need to be helped along by physically showing the the possibilities of a home.  If they see a room it's a room.  No big.  If they see a desk in that room it's now an office.  They then remember they NEED an office.  This house has one!  

If a house is poorly decorated,  or spaced... buyers will think it's a bad house.  If they see a well pro-portioned, up to date place... they will think it's a new, cool pad to call home.   It can change their whole mind set.  And their whole plan to purchase.   

Check out some of the possibilities below.  These are BEFORE/AFTERS (love those!)

How do you stage?  There are different ways.   You can hire someone to add to what you currently have like some of the pictures above or you can have the stagers do everything from top to bottom like the pictures that follow. 

What rooms do you stage?  That depends.  What do you want to showcase about your house?  Who do you think would want to buy your home?   Below was a bedroom turned into an office.  Since people are home more these days... a home office is now a top priority.

Master bedrooms are always a big deal.  Stagers will make it feel like a get away, a retreat. 

Here's another Master. 

Of course living and dining is big since that's where everyone is...

Kitchens matter too.   Those can be easily de-cluttered and re-designed.  Throw up some cool counter stools, signs, bread boxes and a trendy canister or two.  Done.  

Finally tonight, please remember not all stagers are created equal.  There are some good ones, some okay ones and some really great ones.  Find a really great one and work with them!  

I like Honeycomb Homes AZ, LLC... you can find them at
And say HELLO to your home sale!

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