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Housing Changes as More Squeeze Under One Roof

December 8, 2012

builderBuilders are responding to the changing shape of American families, The New York Times reports. As more families try to squeeze more people under one roof — with adult children and aging parents moving back in — builders are offering up new options to make co-habitation more comfortable for families.

“What the recession has done has really hit household formation hard, so instead of forming households we are having some contractions: the college student moving back in or someone’s brother-in-law loses a job. It’s an opportunity for the builders,” says Stephen Melman, director of economic services at the National Association of Home Builders.

Lennar, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, released new designs last fall called “Next Gen—The Home Within a Home.” offering 400-square-foot “bonus” rooms in some of its design plans. Its Next Gen homes features a complete suite with bedroom, eat-in kitchen, and living room that can be integrated into a home’s living space or be a private residence off the main home.

PulteGroup is offering larger “flex rooms” and an over-the-garage apartment, dubbed the “Grand Retreat,” as options for its growing, multigenerational families. The flex spaces can be turned into a bedroom with a bathroom and closet. Pulte reports that 30 percent of its customers are asking for multigenerational living features.

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