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What Is a Mother Daughter House?

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Complete Merrick Full Dormer Mother/Daughter with Rear Garage Extension

Did you know that 79 million adults in the United States, or over 30% of the population, live in a shared household?

Young adults moving in with their parents account for a good chunk of this percentage, but older parents moving in with their adult children is becoming more common than it once was.

More and more, multigenerational families are making the decision to live together and the housing market makes this evident. If you need a home big enough for more than your immediate family, you should consider the idea of a mother/daughter house.

Keep reading to learn what this means and the benefits of owning this type of shared living structure.

What Is a Mother/Daughter House?

A mother/daughter house is a type of single-family home that has two separate living areas. These homes typically have a shared entrance that splits off into two living rooms, two bathrooms, two kitchens, etc.

This allows a parent and a child to share a home without sacrificing privacy.

Some mother/daughter homes are constructed as two separate homes that join together with a shared foundational infrastructure. Others are two areas of the same structure that can sometimes have two entrances.

A common style is a duplex that offers two separate living areas above one another or side by side. A carriage home is another popular two-story option where the living space is on the second story above a garage.

These basic styles come in different variations like colonial homes, ranch houses, and cape cods. The best architectural style for your family will depend on the specific preferences and needs of the occupants.

No matter the design, mother/daughter homes offer multigenerational families the option of living under one roof while enjoying their own space.

Benefits of Mother/Daughter Homes

There are a lot of benefits of mother/daughter homes that close-knit families can enjoy.

The process of building a mother/daughter home starts with a lot of planning, framing, and dedication to accuracy.

A good contractor can walk you through the process and answer any questions or concerns that may come up. As mother/daughter conversions are a large part of our business at Great Additions, you can also take a look through our portfolio for inspiration and guidance.

Permits might be required for these special structures. Once you have all of the correct paperwork, you can take advantage of the following:

Increased Property Value

Mother/daughter houses increase your property’s value because pre-designed mother/daughter residences are popular in today’s market.

One-of-a-kind structures like these allow future homeowners to visualize themselves in the space or turn it into a rental unit that can supplement their income.

By 2030, one in six people in the world will be over 60 years of age. Because the population is rapidly aging, mother/daughter residences are priorities for a lot of families.

If you add an addition to your home to create a mother/daughter house, you are increasing the square footage. If you do decide to sell your home in the future, you’ll recoup some or all of the remodeling costs.

Avoid Selling

Yes, mother/daughter extensions can increase the overall home value if you do decide to sell your house in the future. However, a great benefit of building an addition to create a mother/daughter home is that you avoid selling!

If you add a second-floor addition to create a separate living unit, you are getting more space without uprooting and going through the complex moving process. Plus, you don’t have to navigate the hectic housing market.

Finally, selling a home is expensive! Depending on how much you sell your home for, paying an agent, and covering closing costs to sell and buy another house could equal or exceed what it would cost to renovate your existing home.

This is an enticing benefit to homeowners that have an emotional connection to their current home and neighborhood.

Save on Utility Bills

Mother/daughter home structures share plumbing and HVAC systems. Existing HVAC, plumbing, and heating are extended to the rest of the house that is being added to or renovated.

You might have to make small adjustments to your current amenities when creating a new home addition. However, you save on the costs of needing to purchase an entirely new HVAC system.

To decrease your utility payments, you can ask all residents to split the charges. Even though you share utilities, you can reduce the immediate financial burden when other family members move in.

Provide Seniors With In-Home Care

Nursing homes and assisted living communities are becoming increasingly expensive. In-home care is a great way to focus on the needs of an aging senior without having to break the bank.

If you work from home (or not at all), have a parent that needs just a little bit of extra help, or event just the safety of knowing there is someone around to help in the event of a slip or fall, you won’t need to pay for in-home care until a senior’s needs become beyond your ability.

Families can deliver in-home care easier with mother/daughter living spaces. Whether you have to provide daily care to a family member or just want to be available when needed, this is an ideal solution.

You’ll save money and have the peace of mind knowing your family members’ care is in your own hands.

Assist Younger Family Members

Mother/daughter houses don’t only benefit older relatives, they can help your children.

These days, a lot of recent graduates are returning home until they can find a job or pay off student loan debt. A mother/daughter living arrangement can help them save money as they are starting out their careers.

In certain situations, your children might need a temporary living space because of job loss or divorce as well.

Save on Childcare Costs

If you have young children and retired parents, you’ll always have a free babysitter to take care of the kids when you’re unable to.

Childcare costs are on the rise. The cost to hire a nanny rose by about 20% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. General babysitting and daycare costs are up anywhere from 5% to 15%.

If your relatives are living under the same roof as you and healthy enough to watch your children, you can save a lot on childcare costs that 51% of parents spend more than 20% of their household income on.

The great thing about mother/daughter homes is that you can make an arrangement specific to your needs. For example, you can pay for utilities and the mortgage in exchange for free babysitting during the day.

Either way, you are putting more money in your pocket and adding some flexibility to your child care arrangements.

Make Money Renting to Non-Family Members

Of course, you could always ask for rent payments and help with utilities from family members. In some cases, this defeats the purpose of a mother/daughter home.

If you enter a situation where no one is living on the other side of the home, you can rent the area out to non-family members to make some extra money.

Mother/Daughter Home vs. Multi-Family Home

A multi-family home is a single structure divided up to accommodate more than one family. This type of home ranges from a two-dwelling duplex to homes or small apartments with up to four individual units.

A building with more than four units is considered a commercial property.

The owner of a multi-family home might live in one of the units or rent them all out to other families and individuals.

A multi-family home differs from a mother/daughter home because each unit of a multi-family home has its own address and its own entrance, and typically have utilities split into separate meters. In a mother/daughter home, these things are shared.

Multi-family real estate is not constructed with multigenerational family living in mind. Instead, this form of real estate is best for those looking to invest and generate passive income.

Making a Mother/Daughter House Work for You

Two generations living together is not always easy, but it’s a great opportunity to bond and can be helpful in a lot of situations.

Although living quarters are separate, you’ll lack some privacy so it’s necessary to avoid conflict by setting boundaries.

Before moving in together, discuss the financial situation and who will be responsible for specific costs, if you don’t plan on covering them yourself.

Set basic ground rules about privacy and personal space to enjoy the benefits of living under one roof. Here are some additional tips you can follow:

  • Set aside time each for individual activities
  • Communicate honestly and openly
  • Don’t argue in front of others
  • Make necessary compromises on occasion

When you follow these tips, both generations can have a comforting place to call home!

Let Us Build Your Dream Home!

Living with family is not only convenient, it’s also comforting. It’s common for families to butt heads when they are in close quarters, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

A mother/daughter house lets multigenerational families live together under one roof without sacrificing too much space and privacy. When you opt for this living structure, you reap all of the benefits in this guide.

Ready to start renovating your home to accommodate parents or kids moving in? Contact us today for a free estimate.

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