In the face of rising costs for assisted living facilities, an increasing number of people are looking for more affordable ways to house their baby boomer parents. This growing need has created a lot of buzz around terms like “granny pods”, mother-in-law suites and multi-generational homes.

What is the difference between these items?

Granny Pod: A guest house/tiny home/ADU added to an existing property.

Mother in-law suite: Private living area in an existing home such as a secondary owner’s suite already in the home or an area added on to the home.

Multi-generational homes: multi-generational homes are homes specifically built with a living area (bedroom, living space, kitchenette, bathroom) separated from the rest of the residence with a door. They can sometimes contain their own exterior door as well.

Each option involves its own cost of course. Not to mention that adding a guest home or building onto an existing home means having to deal with HOAs, city zoning laws and required setbacks in the area that the property is located.

Deciding which direction is going to be best for you depends on many factors including space and cost. If you don’t have space to build an addition or add an ADU, perhaps you can modify part of your existing home. The other option is to purchase a home that already includes a multigenerational living space.

No matter what you decide to do there are important conversations to have with your family. You will also need to do a fair amount of research to do to find out what solution best fits your family and how to achieve it.

We have taken this into account at Retreat at Mountain View Ranch. We have a number of new homes that do have a multi-generational suite available.