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New homes feature family-friendly layouts for multiple generations

May 30, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
With America's aging population, children staying home longer and more extended families living together, some new homebuilders are changing the designs of their homes to meet those needs. They're new home developments designed with multi-generational families in mind.

With new twins the Fajardo family is growing quickly. In fact, Lea's parents will be moving in with them, so they need a house to accommodate them all. They found the perfect place in Chino in a new home development called Charleston at College Park.

"This was an ideal situation: them having their own area where they can do what they needed to do and yet still be close enough to help with the kids, with their grandkids," said Robert Fajardo.

Lennar Homes calls it a "home within a home." A first-of-its-kind in the U.S. geared for multi-generational families.

"The home within a home basically has its own front door, its own living area, its own kitchenette with a refrigerator, convection microwave oven for some light cooking, its own bathroom with a stacked washer-dryer, its own bedroom and access to a rear yard for its own patio," said Greg McGuff, Lennar Homes Division president.

Another developer, the New Home Company, is taking the next generation of homes a step further. At Lambert Ranch in Irvine there are three neighborhoods with three unique life space designs.

"You have your own private entrance from the exterior of the home, for private going in and going out," said Joan Marcus-Colvin, vice president of sales, the New Home Company.

And inside is a private bedroom, bath and service bar, yet it is connected to the main home.

Another design incorporates a large guest house connected to the main house that buyers Jason Vitaletti and Arman Afagh find perfect for their competing work schedules.

"I'm an emergency room physician and I work nights," said Afagh. "And so having a completely separate area where I could sleep during the daytime and he can go about doing his work from home."

And the third design features two homes next to each other creating a compound estate.

"This is the shared courtyard of our family compound, our generational estate," said Marcus-Colvin. "And this is where our two families can have their coffee in the morning."

And the homes are joined in the large backyard too for family gatherings.

"We found an incredible need for families that wanted to live together, meaning sister, husband, kids, brother, his wife and kids, and joining them," said Marcus-Colvin.

And homes like these make economic sense too.

"We always say it's two homes and one payment," said McGuff.

Both builders say sales so far have been excellent so expect more developers to follow.


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