Even as a college freshman, I wanted to provide a place for my mother to live when she got older.
For years, I’ve imagined her living in a small cottage, on the same land, directly next to my house. In my vision, there’s an open walkway that connects the two homes so that when we travel the 10 yards or so to visit one another, we don’t expose ourselves to the elements.
My mother would be close enough to maintain my unhealthy emotional dependence on her. But since she wouldn’t live under the same roof, my man and I could still freely walk around the house in our underwear eating roasted almonds without offending anyone.
Given the state of the economy over the last few years, more Americans, young and old, have sought the help of family members.
Forget about what government should’ve done or what your employer didn’t do. Let’s look out for one another.
While listening to Marketplace recently, I heard of a concept that I abso-fricking-lutely LOVE, and that I hope others are as excited about as I am.
Lennar, one of the nation’s home builders, designed a house for multi-generational living.
It’s, literally, a home within a home.
There’s the main home and then an interior suite. You can access the interior suite through the main house or through a private entrance. Complete with a kitchenette, bathroom, living room, bedroom, patio and one car garage, the interior suite is practically a one-bedroom apartment in a single-family home.
If a family member or friend stumbles upon hard times, you have an apartment in your daggum house they can live in!
If your child is going through a divorce or experiencing an extended bout of unemployment, you can bring them in without disrupting your life too much.
Or you can share living space and living expenses over the long run. Isn’t that something?
If I’m going to take care of my mother anyway, she might as well water the plants, watch the kids, cook the collard greens, clean the house, and earn her keep. Mama or not, I have no tolerance for freeloaders.
I understand sharing may be a foreign concept to you, but I believe Americans need to revisit the idea of everyone having their own separate space and their own separate car and their own separate – well – everything.
Of course there’s a possibility, your little home within a home could be a deadbeat magnet. If you live in a major metropolitan area, plan on everyone you know counting on you for a free place to stay when they’re in town.
So, you still have to setup boundaries, but you’d have to do that anyway.
What do you think? Is a home designed for multi-generational living crazy, awesome, or crazy awesome?