Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Generations living together - here we come

Here is another idea for coping with the current state of the economy.

One story early in this article says a lot:


The part about the couple getting one of the moms to sell and then they all combined their take and bought a wonderful place together.

A better standard of living in this market. True, a lot of people will tell you never to go in on a real estate or big ticket item with friends or family members. But those people also said that long before the economy tanked last year.

As I look around the country at home listings being advertised both on behalf of my clients and for my "Listing of the Day" marketing critiques, I am amazed at the large inventory of 3, 4, and even 5 bedroom homes out there. It doesn't always need a family with a lot of children to put those places to use.

After reading the above-linked article, I realize even more that the benefits of many of these larger houses make them appealing to generations of families.

If I am a seller of a 3 or more bedroom home, I would drop what I'm doing and walk around the house with a notepad. I would explore the possibilities for privacy and/or separation of bedrooms as well as a den or bonus room. If I have, say two bedrooms upstairs and 2 on the main level, it opens up "new" possibilities.

Just maybe there is a family with in-laws that would want a main level bedroom for easy access, while the middle generation uses the upstairs for themselves and for their kids. Gives the parents a built-in sitter, and the older generation the security of having people around them, protection, and a sense of belonging.

If I am a potential buyer of a house, I might want to consider the linked to story and examine the situation of parents or close relatives. Instead of, for example, $250,000 to spend, maybe another $150,000 could be added to the mix. The "in-laws" and us wind up with a much better house in a better area, yet we really save on the mortgage by pooling our resources.

If I am a realty agent, I would be touring my listed properties, whether in person or in my mind, and looking for angles as to how an extended family could be a buyer for a large property.

True, this situation is not for everyone. A couple with good credit won't want to take on an uncle with bad credit and increase risk. I get it.

But in a challenged real estate market, even a few hundred families out of millions could make a difference in the marketplace.

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