The number of millennials who are either not leaving their parents’ homes or moving back home continues to grow. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, that number is currently almost one in four people between the ages of 20 and 34. Cassandra Szoeke of Melbourne University says that research involving 20 million people all over the world has revealed that there are a number of stresses associated with adult children living at home.
According to the Pew Research Center, approximately one in five middle-aged adults have provided financial support to a parent age 65 or older in the past year. 30% of adults with a parent over 65 years old say that their parent needs help to care for themselves. That support often takes the form of providing a caring home as well as assistance with shopping and transportation to medical appointments.
Wage stagnation, coupled with rising prices, have left many homeowners finding it increasingly difficult to comfortably meet their monthly expenses. That’s why many homeowners are choosing to rent out a room in their homes. According to Thomas Clement, the managing director of Flatmates.com.au, “With many people now priced out of the rental and homeowner markets, share accommodation has become the most affordable option for many people. Most Australian households have a spare room and renting it is the perfect way to make extra money or help pay the mortgage.” Even between family members with close loving relationships, the financial and personal stress of sharing space can often have negative effects on those relationships. A loss of privacy is another issue that can adversely affect people attempting to share space.
One way to prevent many of the potentially problematic issues that arise with sharing space is to create more space. Converting your garage to a living space is one solution that many people are finding an attractive one. If you need heating for your new living space, there are many garage heaters that are available. While sharing space may not be so stressful that you want to convert your garage into a wet bar, the possibilities for transforming the 600 square feet of the average garage into a practical and inviting living space are almost endless. Whether you need a studio apartment, a game room, or an arts and crafts room where grandparents can enjoy helping their grandchildren make a creative mess while your house stays clean, garage conversion can be a very affordable alternative.
Despite the many advantages, converting your garage into living space can also have some drawbacks. According to one article, one of the most common potentially negative consequences of converting a garage is the fact that removing the garage door can decrease the home’s resale value. Many people place a high value on having a garage to protect their vehicles. One solution that would allow the garage to be utilized as a living space while increasing the curb appeal and resale value of the home is the purchase of a weatherproof garage door. There are some stunning examples of conversions in which a new garage door becomes an inviting part of the décor.
The other most commonly cited reason that garage conversion can reduce the resale value of the home is that there is less storage space. This is a common problem for the increasing number of people with multi-generational households, especially when family members formerly had homes of their own, as in the case of aging parents. While practical duplicate items like cookware can be sold when households are merged, treasured items with great sentimental value, such as a baby’s first blanket or a child’s first drawing, cannot be parted with so easily, if at all. Many people solve the need for more storage with the use of a backyard storage unit, which can also increase property values.
While merging adult households poses some challenges, like privacy and learning new ways of relating as adults rather than as parent and child, multi-generational households also enjoy many benefits. Pooling financial resources results in everyone having more money for enjoyable activities as well as a greater ability to save for the future. Just as in life, not all benefits are financial. It would be impossible to place a financial value on emotional support and the opportunity to make more treasured family memories.