A Place for Mum (or Junior): Granny Flats for the Whole Family

Gray granny flat

So named because of their primary use as senior housing, granny flats provide homeowners and their families with more room in their properties and is an ideal housing solution for older and younger adults alike.

The challenges of life in the modern economy have made housing a thorny problem among both seniors and young adults alike. Older adults may find their needs changing to the point that they cannot live without assistance and supervision, while younger adults may not have adequate means to find a place of their own to live while having fully outgrown their parents’ home.

The days of the extended family are once again becoming familiar as more and more people are living in multigenerational households. When once people moved out of their parents’ homes and aspired for bigger places, today they are either staying with their parents as they grow older or inviting their them (or their grown children) to remain in the same property.

Enter the Granny Flat

However, just because you live in the same household doesn’t mean you have to stay in the same house—especially one that’s just starting to burst at the seams. Fortunately, most suburban lots today have ample room for expansion, which makes building adding an extension or new home is a viable option. Today, many households are investing intransportable kit homes that can be turned into granny flats, letting families enjoy the benefits of living in separate roofs while still living together.

The granny flat gets its name from its original purpose—a separate, smaller home where aging parents can live closer to their children and grandchildren. Today, the term is used for any house that accommodates family members, which can even include adolescent or young adult children that are ready to start anew but lack the direct means to do so.

Granny flats typically have the full amenities of a typical home or apartment—often with bathrooms and some form of food preparation area. Some granny flats meant for seniors in need of care may only have a microwave and mini-fridge, while others would have a fully functional small kitchen with ample space to cook full meals.

The Benefits

Small and simple living room

Overall, having a granny flat in your property makes the best use of the extra space in your yard and provides family members with a comfortable place to stay without dealing with the hassle of looking for affordable real estate to buy or rent. Even if a family member wouldn’t occupy the flat itself, the space it provides can help maximise the usable space within the property.

Having another family member around the home can be quite beneficial to the household as a whole. Your parents can serve as impromptu babysitters when needed, and your grown children can be called on to assist in doing the yard work. Moreover, having people reside in the back of the lot can play an essential role in keeping the property more secure.

Both older and younger adults appreciate the independence and freedom they gain from living independently. Older adults that may need supervision gain enough personal agency by living on their own home, which can help them maintain mental alertness as they grow older. Mum and dad living in the backyard also means visits are not a problem, and children can quickly respond to emergencies as needed. Their constant presence in the family also means you can maintain close ties with them throughout their golden years.

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