What is multigenerational living?
A multigenerational home comprises at least three generations of a family living together. Often consisting of grandparents, parents and their children, families live in a multigenerational home for various reasons, whether for the financial benefits of sharing household bills or the ability to share caring duties (either for the older or younger generations).
For many, moving into a multigenerational household must be a considered choice; there are likely to be implications for the family’s relationship. Before making significant decisions, it's important to talk openly and honestly about your expectations and worries about living together. Multigenerational living should be life-enhancing, allowing families to build stronger bonds and share jobs around the home. In some cases, however, it can strain relationships and negatively affect the family.
That’s why we’ve created a compatibility test to determine whether now is the right time to move into a multigenerational home. Our quiz is designed to help you and your family members discover whether moving in together will be beneficial and open up conversations that could lead to a better living arrangement for the entire family.
Answer the following questions honestly and share with your wider family to find out whether you are on the same page, then compare answers and work towards finding the perfect ways of living in a multigenerational home that suits all your individual needs.
Q1. How do you feel about sharing common spaces (e.g., kitchen, living room) with other family members?
a) I’m completely comfortable sharing common spaces with others.
b) I’m okay with sharing common spaces as long as I have private space.
c) I prefer my own space and don't want to share common areas.
Q2. Would it be beneficial to share housing costs (e.g., utilities, council tax, groceries and mortgage) with other family members?
a) It would be very beneficial to share costs with family members.
b) I can afford my bills, but I wouldn’t be opposed to sharing them.
c) I’m happy with my household costs and prefer not to share bills with family members.
Q3. How do you feel about having additional help from family at home with childcare or elderly care?
a) It would be great to have extra support from family to look after my children and/or my elderly parents at home.
b)I wouldn’t want my family to feel pressured into sharing care responsibilities, but I’d appreciate the support.
c)The older generation of my family would not be able to care for my children due to their own caring needs, and/or vice versa.
d)This does not apply to me.
Q4. How do you feel about splitting household chores (e.g., extra dishes, larger laundry loads) with other family members?
a) I would love to share household chores with my family.
b) I would be hesitant to share household chores.
c) I have a particular way of doing my chores, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing them with my family.
Q5. How do you feel about adapting to a new routine and getting out of your comfort zone (e.g., mentally, physically) with other family members at home?
a) I’m confident it will adapt to my family routine quickly.
b)I’m iffy about adapting to a new routine but I will try my best.
c) I can’t compromise on my daily routine and prefer not to change it.
Q6. How well can you settle in a busy/noisy environment (e.g., around children, teenagers or elderly) at home?
a) I’m completely comfortable living in a busy environment.
b) I can somewhat manage living in a busy environment.
c) I prefer not to change my lifestyle.
Q7. Do you think there would be an increase in arguments if you lived in a multigenerational home?
a) I’m confident there will be no family conflict.
b)Arguments could occur occasionally, but I’m sure we would work through them.
c)Living in a multigenerational home is likely to cause unmanageable friction in the family.
Q8. Are you looking to improve family relationships and strengthen bonds?
a) I’d love to strengthen the bonds within my family.
b) Our family is close enough, but I’d be open to exploring getting closer.
c) I don’t think my family would be open to strengthening our bonds.
Q9. How do you feel about giving up your privacy (e.g., in romantic relationships) at home?
a)I’m completely comfortable giving up my privacy – my partner and I would find ways to maintain intimacy.
b) I’m somewhat okay with it, but I am slightly concerned that I would struggle to be romantic with my partner at home.
c) My relationship would struggle if we were to lose our intimacy, so I’d rather we kept our privacy where possible.
d) This does not apply to me.
Q10. Would you be comfortable making adaptations to your home (for example, installing a stairlift) to ensure it's suitable for multigenerational living?
a) I’m entirely comfortable in adapting the house for my family’s mobility needs.
b)I wouldn’t mind, but I’d prefer not to.
c)I like my home the way it is; I wouldn’t want to change it.
d) This does not apply to me.
How to interpret answers:
- If your answers were mostly As, you are ready to move into a multigenerational home. You are easy going, family-orientated and willing to adapt to suit the needs of everyone you live with.
- If your answers were mostly Bs, you may not be ready for multigenerational living. You may be reluctant to share space or household bills, but why not explore the options with your family? You may find that you’re able to make arrangements and set some ground rules that ensure you aren’t compromising too much by living in a multigenerational home.
- If you answered mostly Cs, it sounds like multigenerational living is not for you (for now, anyway!). Take some time to consider your priorities within your living arrangements – and be sure to communicate with your family how you feel about your home. Revisit this quiz in future if you find yourself thinking about multigenerational living to see whether your considerations have changed. An easy first step could be to consider how you can make your home more accessible for family members in later life.