top of page
  • Writer's pictureMariel Megan Ross

The next big thing in Denver real estate

A record 20% of Americans now live in multi-generational housing arrangements

The Pew Research Center recently announced that 20% of the U.S. population now lives in multi-generational homes – a new record. This trend toward multiple generations of family living under the same roof started increasing in 2008 (after bottoming out at 12% of the population in 1980), and now it’s common to hear about grandparents living with their children, Millenials staying at home into their 30’s, and similar multi-gen arrangements.

Some of the numbers behind this trend are amazing. As just one example, in 2014, for the 18 to 34 year-old demographic, living with their parents at home surpassed all other living arrangements for the first time in more than 130 years.

Simply put, housing arrangements in the U.S. are changing – and fast!

How is the multi-gen trend playing out in Denver's real estate market?

Parkwood allows you to add mother-in-law suites, second master bedrooms, and more

Here at Focus Real Estate I’ve seen the multi-gen trend with our clients in Sterling Ranch and other communities around Denver. I have many anecdotes:

There’s the client building a new Parkwood home that four generations (!) will live together in.

Or, in what I’ll call a slightly modified multi-gen living arrangement, there’s the client who built a new Wonderland home – and in order to stay as close as possible, grandma is moving in down the street!

And then there are the many clients who've added a bedroom and bathroom to their first floors or basements, knowing that even if they don’t need the extra space today, future buyers might place a premium on a multi-gen floorplan (learn more about the potential "return on investment" for finishing your Sterling Ranch basement here - see tip #2).

How is the trend impacting new home builders?

Builders are also taking note of the trend.

Using Sterling Ranch as an example, Lennar offers a multi-gen floorplan specific for multi-gen families in Sterling Ranch – the SuperHome (and yes, it lives up to the name). The SuperHome is a great example of what a plug-and-play multi-gen floorplan from a national builder looks like. The photo to the right is of the SuperHome's second living room and kitchen.

Two gourmet kitchens doesn't sound so bad, right?

Semi-custom builders like Parkwood also offer multi-gen options. Here at Focus we’ve helped clients modify floorplans to add two master suites to their second floors, create 1,500 square foot luxury apartments in their basements, and even add garden suites with separate entrances. Managing your budget – and having up-front clarity about options and pricing - are important if you go the semi-custom route. Remember that most builders are only allowed to provide estimates for certain upgrades and floorplan changes, so it's key to work with a realtor who specializes in new construction and can help estimate final pricing for you.

Still other builders are eliminating stairs, or at least reducing the need for stairs, in order to make homes friendly for all generations. CalAtlantic’s 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom Cabrillo – a giant, luxury, ranch floorplan available in Sterling Ranch - is a great example of a large home with no second floor.

There may be other interesting aspects to the multi-gen trend that play out over time, which might be smaller - such as a rise in dual thermostat controls in homes – to potentially larger, like increasing demand for big ranch homes with no stairs. Regardless, expect the rise of multi-gen living to continue.

If you’re interested in learning more about multi-gen options in Sterling Ranch, shoot me an e-mail ( As your Sterling Ranch real estate expert, I’ve helped dozens of families find the perfect home. Learn more about my services (and how my services are free to you)!

The SuperHome's multi-gen suite is shown in blue

122 views0 comments


bottom of page