Sandwich generation impacts home sales, building trends


Get ready to take a bite out of the great American sandwich!

As if raising children weren’t hard enough, many of us are now taking on financial responsibility for parents too.

The sandwich generation — a term that describes those homeowners who are getting hit with money obligations arising from both their kids and their parents — is a new financial reality for more and more people.

One in seven households have either an aging parent or a boomerang kid who moved back home after college without work, according to a survey from homebuilder PulteGroup that I read about in USA Today.

Meanwhile, recent numbers from Pew Research show that the share of Americans living in multi-generational households is at its highest level since the severe housing shortage directly after World War II.

If you have a home for sale, you should try to market it with terms like “potential in-law suite” if that applies to your property. That’s the way to attract a new breed of buyer.

Builders, meanwhile, would be well advised to grab onto this trend too. We had the thing where builders would put in an unfinished bonus room, but that was aspirational for people to imagine having a man cave or a play room for the kids.

Today, though, they’ll need to go a step further: A separate staircase or outlets at handicap level. There are such basic things you can do when you’re building sticks up to make a home more sellable down the road.

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