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RISMEDIA, February 24, 2010—Family reunions are taking on a new meaning in the real estate market. According to a recent survey by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC among its network of real estate professionals, in the last 12 months, 37% of sales professionals surveyed noted an increase in home buyers looking to purchase homes to accommodate more than one generation of their family. In addition, almost 70% of Coldwell Banker sales agents believe that economic conditions may cause greater demand for multi-generational homes in their market during the next year.

Furthermore, the Coldwell Banker January 2010 survey respondents cited financial drivers as the No. 1 reason why home buyers or sellers are moving into a house with other generations of their family (39%). Twenty-nine percent said that health care issues are the primary reason, and 6% cited a strong family bond as the main factor.

“While saving money is certainly an incentive for buying a home that accommodates multiple generations, the benefits go beyond just financial reasons,” said Diann Patton, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Consumer Specialist. “With two or three generations living under one roof, families often experience more flexible schedules, quality time with one another and can better juggle childcare and eldercare.”

Communicating with family members and consulting with their real estate professional is key as well. “Talk to everyone involved and determine how comfortable the family members are about sharing bathrooms, office space or common areas, and let that guide your search,” Patton advises. “All of these topics are incredibly important in finding the right kind of home to fit the family–like one that has four bathrooms or one that has three.”

Helpful Hints:
-Sellers with “mother in-law suites” or additional spaces that could accommodate a family interested in a multi-generational living arrangement should highlight this aspect of the home. Whether it’s a garage apartment or refurbished basement, this separate space can help one home stand apart from the others on its block.

-Buyers must be clear about their exact needs. Some families may just want an extra bedroom or two for family members, while others require areas with a separate kitchen, entrance, handicap accessibility or even a larger garage for additional cars. Desired location may also be influenced by proximity to local hospitals, senior centers or other important activities to family members.

-Extended families purchasing a home together should consider signing a written contract outlining everything from finances to chores and childcare. Each family should assess their situation individually and find a plan that works best for them.

For more information, visit www.coldwellbanker.com.

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