October 16, 2023

Alana Moor

Nestled in one of the Greater Toronto Area’s leafy neighborhoods is the FlexPlex home. This innovative model home is designed to inspire multigenerational living, accommodating the growing trend of extended families living under one roof.

The Rise of Multi-Generational Living

Recent research has uncovered a noteworthy trend that’s gaining momentum in Toronto – multigenerational living. This phenomenon, which has seen substantial growth in the United States over the last five decades, is driven by the shared challenges of housing affordability. As Toronto grapples with housing costs, this trend is likely to persist, thanks to the financial benefits it offers.

The research also highlighted that, in addition to financial considerations, family caregiving plays a pivotal role in the choice of multigenerational living. Contrary to the assumption that multigenerational living might be stressful, the research reveals that more than half of adults find it to be a mostly or always rewarding experience. As someone who recently shared their household with their daughter’s family for a month, I’d bet that nearly 100% of children would support living with doting grandparents.

Embracing best practices in “multigen” living is increasingly crucial in Toronto, as it offers a promising solution to housing affordability, as well as addressing the needs of both elders and childcare.

Financial Benefits of Owning a FlexPlex Home

When the financial burden of securing a down payment or qualifying for a mortgage becomes too heavy to bear independently, it’s time to join forces with your family. A significant aspect of the affordability of owning a FlexPlex home comes from the idea of it being your “forever home.” This concept helps you avoid costly realtor fees, high property purchase taxes, and the potential HST for each move you didn’t make.

What’s more, the City of Toronto is making it easier for multigenerational living by eliminating development charges on the construction of duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes while increasing them for condos. These development charge savings make the triplex an appealing alternative for today’s homebuyers.

Don’ts of Successful Multigenerational Living
#1 DON’T – Try to Accommodate Every Family Member in Every Meal

Provide families with the opportunity to have as many kitchens as they desire. In a FlexPlex home, you can strike a balance between interaction and privacy, making multigenerational living comfortable for everyone. Whether you prefer a traditional, interactive single-family home with up to four kitchens or separate units for each family group, FlexPlex offers the flexibility to adapt your space to your needs.

Consider the future – as family dynamics evolve, you can downsize within the FlexPlex by easily converting part of your space into rental accommodation. And when the grandkids arrive, you can “flex” back into a multigenerational home. With private bathrooms for every bedroom, independent heating, cooling, and soundproofing on each floor, reconfiguring the home is a breeze.

#2 DON’T – Give Your Adult Kids Unsolicited Child Rearing Advice

The last thing you want to hear as a parent is, “I don’t want to hear it!” Offering unsolicited parenting advice is a definite DON’T in the realm of multigenerational living. My recent experience with my Vancouver-based daughter and her family living with us for a month emphasized the importance of respecting boundaries.

The Benefits of Multi-Generational Living – A Real-Life Story

Let’s take a moment to delve into the benefits of multigenerational living through a heartwarming story. Meet Zack and Jesse, a young couple with an aging bungalow. They decided it was time to upgrade their living conditions to accommodate their growing family. Simultaneously, Jesse’s parents, who lived in the original family home, were looking to downsize.

Their solution? A multigenerational legal duplex, where each family has an individual unit, allowing three generations to coexist harmoniously. Greenbilt Homes had the honour of building their home. The result? Seven years into it, they have a happier and more spacious living arrangement, while also saving on purchase taxes and realtor fees.

Are you ready to unlock the potential of multigenerational living? Reach out to us to learn more about how a FlexPlex – either a three-storey fourplex version or a two-story triplex or duplex – can shape your family’s future. Your dream of a more affordable and connected living space is just an email away!

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