There’s no shortage of reasons why so many people who’ve lived in single-family homes are now seeking a home that can accommodate multiple generations comfortably under one roof.
An increasing number of homebuyers are caring for aging parents, or housing a daughter or son who’s graduated from college and is seeking a full-time job while juggling student loan debt. Add in cultural influences and it’s not surprising that approximately 76.4 million American households — a statistic cited by the U.S. Census Bureau for 2009-2011 — contain three or more generations under one roof.
No matter the reason, a traditional single-family home is simply not meant to accommodate this surplus of people and generations while providing privacy and comfort for each.
That’s why Lennar Homes has stepped up to the plate. Their NextGen Home-Within-a-Home makes Lennar the first national homebuilder to provide a solution for the growing needs of long-term guests and family members in terms of additional space, privacy and functionality.
More than just a multigenerational setup, the more nuanced meaning of NextGen implies a dedication to the needs of the up-and-coming generation of homebuyers. By omitting archaic rooms and including contemporary features, the NextGen home is perfectly suited to fit the modern lifestyle.
The Multigenerational Solution
As the name suggests, Lennar’s NextGen series features a home-within-a-home layout. What this entails is an otherwise classic house complete with adjoining private suite. Outfitted with its own entrance, garage, kitchenette, living room, washer and dryer, bedroom and bathroom, this suite is designed to unobtrusively accommodate the long-term guest. It accounts for a level of privacy and independence that you wouldn’t get in a traditional single-family home.
Bill Tuohy, a new home consultant for Lennar Dallas-Ft. Worth, says people are raving about the design and wonder why nobody has thought of this layout before.
Green Features, Green Savings
The Great Recession, in part, prompted the rise in multigenerational living and Lennar understands that. So, the homebuilder applies other money-saving features in their NextGen series. Green amenities like double-paned windows, tankless water heaters, thermal barriers and increased insulation are just some of the features meant to attract people who are tired of paying high utility bills and looking to get out of a deteriorating house, says Tuohy.
Next Generation Considerations
Other important features Lennar included in the design of their NextGen home stem from the input of experienced modern-day homeowners. “It’s important to know what people are looking for in a home and what housing needs they have,” says Tuohy, who notes that these needs change from year to year.
In the Independence Plan — a NextGen floor plan — you’ll see a large breakfast nook, able to accommodate 10 to 12 people or more in lieu of the superfluous formal dining room. You’ll also reap the benefits of a grand two-story family room, granite countertops, a central island and open floor plan, all features recognized by the National Association of Home Builders as some of the most popular features in a new home in 2014. Other things, such as larger bedroom sizes, are reflected to capture the increasing amount of time people are spending alone with the rise of such personal devices as the smartphone and tablet.
Sam Means is a retiree living with his wife, mother-in-law and two adopted grandkids — but it wasn’t always that way. He kept his eye on the housing market for nearly five years before finding a suitable housing option for his family makeup.
After being in market so long, Means conclusively asserts that “not too many builders are offering (multigenerational homes).” Now a NextGen homeowner settled into the Freedom Plan, Means’ decision to go with Lennar was the obvious choice.
He explains that his mother-in-law, though agile at age 80, could no longer keep up with the maintenance on her house and his grandkids, ages 6 and 7, needed more space and to be closer to their school. The Freedom Plan in Richfield Estates in the Dallas suburb of Sachse offered the total package: a low-maintenance private suite his mother-in-law can keep up with and 3,861 square feet in the acclaimed Garland Independent School District. Means says he immediately fell in love with the spacious and open layout, the home’s design (he describes it as “gorgeous”) and the reasonable price tag.
Ashley Steel is a former SEO analyst for Builders Digital Experience (BDX).
She was previously a staff writer and editor for New Home Source, where she wrote about a variety of topics, from helping Realtors understand how to assist clients in choosing new home options to helping consumers find home design inspiration in a variety of places including a chic industrial-style bar to chicken coops.
Steel is a 2013 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a double major in Latin American Studies and Spanish. Previous to joining BDX, she worked with Latinitas, a nonprofit group that aims to encourage Latino youth to explore the fields of media and technology.