A remodel to help 4 adults live well under 1 roof
A couple needs to make room for their adult son and his wife; here are some suggestions for maximizing space for family time and alone time.
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Q. My 26-year-old adult son lost his job, so he and his wife are coming back to live with us. Because our home is older, my husband and I would like to make some upgrades to make it more comfortable for four adults. We don't have enough money for an addition, but we could spend as much as $30,000. Do you have any suggestions? (Bing: What's the average cost for a home remodel?)
A. Though your budget won't allow you to add on to your space, it will allow you to move or build a few walls. Fortunately, rearranging your floor plan may be all that you need to do to keep everyone in your newly doubled household from feeling squeezed.
I recommend that your family and an architect go over your floor plan with two goals in mind: opening up and improving the places where you are together, and creating cozy nooks where each of you can be apart.
Of course, unused basement, attic, porch or garage space can be insulated, wired, dry-walled, floored and air-conditioned to add living space without expanding your home's footprint. But it may be even more cost-effective to repurpose existing space. For instance, you could turn your living room and adjacent powder room into a first-floor master suite and let your adult children have your old master bedroom, or combine your son's old bedroom with the guest room and a secondary bath to create a second master suite upstairs.
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Because you won't be adding on, before you merge your households, everyone in your family should sit down to discuss what will be done with duplicate couches, dining room tables and other possessions. Some things can be sold or put into a storage unit, but because your son and his wife will need to keep some of their stuff handy, you will need to maximize storage.
You could add new cabinets in unused space under the stairs, in soffits over the existing kitchen cabinets and in the basement and garage. Shallow shelves for paperbacks can be fitted between the studs of interior walls. On external walls, shelves flanking a wide window can be made deep enough to accommodate a foam-cushioned window seat topping a hinged, built-in bin. A closet organizing company also may be able to suggest ways to make your closets, laundry room and garage more space-efficient.
I expect that your family will eat and socialize together most of the time, so make sure that there's a place for everyone to sit comfortably in your home's shared spaces, such as the family and dining rooms. However, if your budget and building codes allow, consider building mini-kitchens in both master suites, with a microwave, small fridge and sitting area, so each couple can occasionally have a meal in private.
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Plan your changes carefully, so your home remains functional for you and your husband when your son and his wife eventually leave the family nest. That will boost its value when it comes time for you to shed it, too.
Wow, I thought the children would be looking out for their aging parents, not parents, who have 30K looking for a way to allow their grown children to move back in. Wow, can you use another long time guest?
My husband and I had only been married for 2 years when he suffered a massive brain hemorrhage and stroke last spring. It just so happened my mom was downsizing anyway so she moved in with us to help out, but on the day my husband finally came home from the rehab hospital his oldest son (27) asked to move in because his wife told him she wanted a divorce. (They had literally just bought a house and had given up their apartment, and he never saw it coming.)
Both my mom and his son pay a small amount that helps cover utilities, etc. which is the only thing that "gets us over the hump" since we now solely live on long-term and soc. sec. disability which is a loss of over half our income. (His left arm and leg are both paralzyed and will most likely remain that way, and I am now his full-time caregiver.)
BUT his younger son (20) was asked to leave his mom's house so we told him the only way he could stay with us was if he joined the military and/or went to school and/or worked. He is joining the military, but they have delayed entry, and even if he gets a job in the meantime he doesn't have a car so just something else for us to worry about!
And to top it off, my daughter's husband walked out on her while she was pregnant with their third child, and even though they have their own place, my mom invites them over a LOT. I don't mind on one hand (because I know she has been going through a hard time too), but needless to say it is BEYOND stressful to have up to NINE people in our house at any given time when it was only TWO!!!
My husband and I are now planning to rent my mom the house (since we don't have enough equity to sell right now), and he and I are going to go on an extended "adventure" renting vacation homes a month at a time (which can be extremely affordable considering it includes everything). We can then come back and rent our own room from my mom for a fraction of the cost during the winter, and we will hopefully have enough equity to sell in a few years (or at least be able to afford to live ALONE there again!)
We couldn't have made it through the last year if it weren't for family, and I know living with family has been more prevalent throughout history, etc., but we are leaving in 2.5 months, and WE CAN'T WAIT!!!
If you have equity in your currant home I would look into moving and use the extra 30k for cheaper square footage. They say one square foot new is over 80 bucks. In this housing challanged times it would be better to buy at 25 bucks or less per square foot on foreclosed property. I bought my home from HUD at 1/3 the county tax listed. Yep gotta do alot of work on that. If you dont want the work i suggest forclosure property non molested by prior owner. A HUD house and a family project while their laying around might be a way to scare them into being self reliant. lol
If I ever lost my job I would rent my place out IMMEDIATELY, find a room to rent (since I have savings paying a years worth of room rent wouldn't be too bad) and search like hell for another job or two or three!
I love my parents dearly and they would welcome me with open arms bu the truth of the matter is I am an adult! I should be self sufficient. I wouldn't have kids without serious bank! and thats both me and whomever my husband (no baby daddies here) will be.
I'm too old and love my space. I like coming home to quiet and peace. I like to walk around naked if I feel like it ...I like to play my music loud sometimes, or just lay in bed and watch tv all day sundays without a word being uttered to me...
I will do whatever it takes to stay out of mom and dads house! Thats why its VERY important to save while you are working. People live above their means and when shyt hits the fan they run home to mommy. Keep your legs closed and PLAN your children (this means financially too). Pay ALL your bills and dont rely on credit cards. Save as much of your salary as possible. If you cant, time to downgrade to a smaller car, apartment, get rid of the fancy cell phones and unnecessary vehicles.. LEARN TO BUDGET so mommy and daddy dont have to pay for your mistakes of failure to plan.
If you have $30,000 to spend on a remodel just because your son and his wife are moving in, wouldn't it make more since to just loan them the money? I mean seriously that could equal 3 years rent for a small apartment.
once you're married there's no going back to mom & dad. why would you want to in the 1st place.
find a place with cheap rent. one can always find enough work to pay the bills(that's if you dont get credit card happy) while the other collects unemployment. the worst thing married couples can do is live with their parents.
Reading some of these comments really shows why our economy and family values are in danger! I am one of the many 20 somethings that ended up having to move in with future in-laws after my fiance was laid off after a company buyout. We had lived in California and we tried looking for other work, but there was nothing to be found so we had to admit defeat and move out of state to his parents with our 1 year old son. They were amazingly hospitable to us and although they refused any of our contributions to help with 'rent' they at least caved to us helping with utilities and groceries. We also helped around the house as much as possible by any household chores we could do. We stayed with them for 6 months until we finally found a place we could afford on our own but we will forever be grateful for what they did for us! I am not alone and have several friends who have been in the exact same position and didn't take advantage of their parents or inlaws so why are we all being classified as lazy, ungrateful, moneysuckers? My experiences and those of my friends have made me decide that once we're able to buy a house we'll do so with the intention of having the space to make a place for any of our children should they need it. I want to them feel loved and welcomed and accepted, not made to feel like a failure like some of your children surely do. Shame on anyone who looks down upon those who need help and had to choke down their pride in order to ask for it!
And as far as the actual moneysucking deadbeat children who take advantage of their parents; I just want to say that it's funny that the parents blame the children for their behavior, but who raised them that way?
The other fact that we lose sight of is how different our culture is from much of the world. In so many other countries the multi-generational home is standard. I think our country would do better with a greater emphasis on the family. Child care, household chores, and caring for the elderly are all easier if the norm is that the family consist of children, parents, grandparents, etc. Think of how much easier it would be to afford property taxes and a mortgage if another two adults were contributing.
Me, I was to independant to do that to my folks. But everybody's situation is different. I lived in a 6 foot by 12 foot camper I paid $500 for for about 2 years while I got it together and saved money from two or three jobs at a time so I could get a bigger travel trailer. Then a house. Now a farm.
never go hungry again, plenty of wood to heat. Think outside the box.
Where are the suggestions for couples who are joined by two adult sons, one daughter-in-law and a 3 year old grandson where there is no money other than the Social Security disability the parent couple has?
Oh yea, even food stamps are out unless I sell my car that I just bought shorty before the kids came with a SS "back payment" check. A car that I can not ever replace when the kids get back on their feet.