Charlotte Hamlyn| The New Daily| 19 August 2018
In a tough housing market, more and more young people are opting to stay living at home for longer.
But there is another growing trend — baby boomers moving back in with their adult kids. And it is by choice.
Research suggests about one in five Australians live in a multi-generational household — and that number is on the rise.
Perth home builders are reporting an increase in demand for homes designed specifically for more than one generation and they are tailoring their offerings in a bid to cash in.
The Antcliff and Gregson family
When Sandra and her husband Mark decided to build a home in Serpentine, south of Perth, a standard three-by-two was not going to meet their needs.
Having only recently lost her husband, Sandra’s mother Linda Gregson was diagnosed with cancer, and the Antcliffs decided they wanted her nearby.
In fact, they wanted her living under the same roof.
They designed their four-bedroom, three-bathroom home on an acre block with a separate two-bedroom wing they call the “granny annex”.
“We wanted for Mum to be able to come and go from her house without us knowing really, so she had her independence,” Ms Antcliff said.
“It was quite stressful at times. I think we put Mum before ourselves sometimes to make sure it was right for her. Then we would sort out how it would work for us.”
Ground rules make for smooth transition
According to both Ms Antcliff and her mother, having a separate front door was a real sticking point.
“I didn’t want to feel as though I was living in rooms in their house,” Ms Gregson said.
“I needed to know that was my front door. I can have friends over. I could come and go as I please.”
And some ground rules had to be laid.
“We were very strict with the kids when we first moved in, that they weren’t to just go barging into nanna’s,” Ms Antcliff said.
“They had to go and knock. A courtesy knock before they walk in. We’d say this is her own house and this is our house. They are separate.”