Remaining Time -0:00
This is a modal window.
Foreground — White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan — Opaque Semi-Opaque
Background — White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan — Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent
Window — White Black Red Green Blue Yellow Magenta Cyan — Opaque Semi-Transparent Transparent
Font Size 50% 75% 100% 125% 150% 175% 200% 300% 400%
Text Edge Style None Raised Depressed Uniform Dropshadow
Font Family Default Monospace Serif Proportional Serif Monospace Sans-Serif Proportional Sans-Serif Casual Script Small Caps
When Jill Hill’s kids want to visit grandpa, they don’t have to go very far.
Hill’s father lives in his own four-room apartment built into the family’s new house in North Fort Worth.
"His home started needed repairs, and I thought somehow we had to find a way to make things better for him," Hill said. "We toured a model of this house and we were blown away with it.
"This was the first one like it we’d ever seen."
It probably won’t be the last.
Hill’s builder Lennar Homes and other major housing firms are expanding their offerings to include a selection of multigenerational homes.
The latest floor plans offer separate apartments or large living spaces for elderly parents or children inside a traditional single-family house.
In Lennar’s case, houses it’s building in Dallas-Fort Worth and around the country include a full apartment, not just some spare room behind the garage or stuck up in an attic.
The new houses have a living room, a full kitchen, an accessible bathroom and ample closet space on the ground floor. There’s a separate entrance and a door that leads into the main house.
An extra suite inside a Lennar Homes model house in Far North Dallas totals around 600 square feet.
Multigeneration houses are one of the hottest trends in U.S. homebuilding, as aging parents and dependent children seek ways to put a new roof over their heads.
Rising home purchase prices and skyrocketing apartment rents have made it tougher for some folks to find shelter, and a residence that can fit in multiple generations is an answer for more families.
"We’ve recognized that there is a significant need for families that is different than we were used to," said David Grove, Lennar’s Dallas division president. "A lot of our buyers are families with aging parents or boomerang kids.
"We are having tremendous success with these homes," he said. "We have sold hundreds of them" since the program was launched three years ago.
The separate suite takes up around 600 square feet, Grove said, in a house that ranges from about 3,200 to 4,300 square feet of total living space.
Because of the size and extra features, these properties don’t come cheap.
An almost 3,500-square-foot NextGen model home with two stories that Lennar is selling in Far North Dallas is priced at $558,999.
But if elderly parents are selling liquidating a property to move in with their families, that can help pay for the higher-priced model.
Lennar, which is one of the country’s largest builders, is getting about 5 percent of its business from multigenerational housing.
Lennar’s NextGen Home floorpan includes a separate living unit for family members or defendants.
"We are actively marketing NextGen in about 326 communities nationwide, Grove said.
Fort Worth-based homebuilder D.R. Horton also sells a multigenerational home model that has a separate suite "designed to accommodate families with special needs, millennial and/or elderly family members."
With aging baby boomers and more dependent older children, housing analysts expect to see a new wave of multigenerational housing.
A record 64 million Americans — or 20 percent of the U.S. residents — now live in multigenerational homes, according to a recent study by Pew Research Center. That’s up from 51.5 million in 2009.
‘There is huge demand for it," said Paige Shipp of Metrostudy Inc. The primary demand is from families living with older family members.
"More builders are offering these models," she said. "The problem is when you have two dwelling units in one house, a lot of municipalities won’t let that happen."
In some West Coast communities, builders are offering new houses with separate "granny flats" out back. But most suburban North Texas cities and homeowner associations prohibit that kind of construction.
Builders say that some cities prohibit them from having a separate entrance to their multigenerational suites or an extra full kitchen.
"This housing type is still in its infancy in Dallas-Fort Worth," said Residential Strategies’ Ted Wilson. "The concept is basically a home within a home."
Hill would agree. "My dad truly feels like he has his own home — he’s not living in his kids’ house," she said. "He can do whatever he wants and doesn’t disturb the rest of us.
"My kids love having grandpa right here."