Apr 262010

Mr. Frost famously wrote: “Home is a place where when you go there they have to take you in.” According this article in LiveScience multi-generation family living is increasing dramatically. If you wondered where all those people who are losing their houses to foreclosure are going, they are going home to live with their parents, with their children or with other relatives.

As part of transition thinking and planning consideration for housing additional family members ought to be considered. Some people get excited by this idea; others might dread the thought. Economic realities, however, may dictate that some of us double up.

We haven’t always had so much personal space and privacy as we do now. As a toddler in San Francisco I have vague memories of the row house that my parents and grandparents owned in the city. A narrow three story structure which was home to my parents, me and a younger brother, my grand parents, my great grandfather and two boarders.

On my dad’s folk’s farm were the grandparents and a widowed aunt and bachelor uncle.

Apparently our family has a thing for group living because in the 70’s my parents, my youngest brother and our family of four bought a big old house together, added my grandmother and middle brother and later my brother’s new bride and an African student to the household. It was mostly fun, very interesting and a great conversation piece in the community. So, I know it can be done even if it isn’t the ideal living arrangement for everyone.

So in your long range planning for Peak Everything, and keeping in mind that if we get into a SHTF environment that an island refuge will be highly attractive to many people, think about where you’ll stash those extra relatives or, conversely, cut off all communication now.


  One Response to “They’re Coming Back!!!”

  1. This trend may extend to other kinds of family, too — the sort of ‘by choice’ families that include friends of all ages. Certainly it’s something that my friends and family are considering such options. It’s no longer just a ‘hippy’ thing, but a reflection of our knowledge that as independent as we like to fantasize we are, the reality is that — we aren’t, or won’t be so into the indefinite but shaky future.

    I’ve often thought over the past 20 years that all those over-sized McMansions being built would have a very short single-family lifespan and fairly quickly morph into multi-family or multi-generational residences. This is the same pattern followed in most cities, where many wealthy (often nouveau riche) families built mansions that were, within a generation or less, sold and subdivided into apartments or smaller units. Very predictable, even without ‘peak anything.’

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