A survey by Pew Research Center shows that more than 31 million adults live in a “shared household”. A large percentage of those adults are parents moving in with their children.
If you or your spouse have aging parents, having them move into an in-law suite in your home has many benefits. Let’s look at 7 reasons you should consider adding one of these suites to your home.
What Is an In-Law Suite?
The term in-law suite is a catch-all for a suite in your home where family members live independently from the rest of your household. It could be your in-laws that live there but it could just as easily be your own parents or other family members.
And while these suites are usually within the home, they can also be separate structures. Options like Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) let you add suites that are connected to your home or completely free-standing.
You can read more about ADUs in this post.
Regardless of the format the suite takes, it will offer several benefits.
1. Maintain Their Independence
When you build an in-law suite, it lets the family member maintain their independence. The suite normally contains its own kitchen, bathroom, and living quarters so your in-law can keep as much independence as they wish.
For example, they might cook their own breakfast and lunch but join the rest of the family for dinners.
2. More Comfortable Than Assisted Living
If the choice is between an in-law suite or an assisted living facility, having your family member move into your home can be much more comfortable.
They can bring their own furniture, use familiar housewares, and maintain a connection with their past much more easily than if they move into an assisted living home. They may also have more freedom to maintain connections with friends, community groups, and other activities.
3. More Affordable Care
Assisted living facilities can be quite costly compared to having your family move into a suite in your home. While you may have to pay in-law suite builders to add the suite to your home, once it’s done there’s very little extra cost to have someone living there.
Utility costs will likely increase slightly and your home insurance could also go up but the extra costs will be much lower than paying for assisted living.
And if your in-laws need daily care, you will probably pay less for home care services than you would for the same care in an assisted living home.
4. Nearby for Holidays and Special Occasions
Having your family members living in the same home makes it much easier to celebrate holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving as well as birthdays and other special occasions.
You don’t need to worry about transporting them to and from your home for those occasions and there’s no reason to worry about times. If they’re getting tired and want to turn in, it’s a matter of a few steps rather than a long drive.
5. Help With Children
Having parents or other family members living in a mother-in-law addition within your home adds an “in-house” babysitter when you have younger children. Most grandparents would love to spend time with their grandchildren when they’re young.
If an emergency comes up, you get called into work at the last minute, or you want to have a date night with your spouse, you won’t need to worry about booking (and paying) a babysitter.
And you won’t need to stress about getting home by a certain time. Your in-laws can simply put the kids to bed and turn in themselves – whether you’re home or not.
6. Alternative Uses
An in-law suite has more uses than strictly for family members. At some point, they may not be able to live independently and will need to move into assisted living. And as difficult as it might be to accept, they will eventually pass away.
At that point, you’ll have a suite in your home that you can use for various other things.
- Your children could move in once they’re old enough to live independently
- Bring in a renter to help supplement your mortgage payments
- Open your home to international exchange students
- Re-purpose the space as a home office, rec room, or various other things
7. Adds Value to Your Home
While an in-law suite, or grandmother suite if you prefer, offers lots of benefits from a lifestyle and family perspective, you can’t ignore the value it adds to your home.
When the time comes to sell your home, having an in-law suite has a couple of potential benefits.
First, it can increase the selling price of your home. It gives the buyer the option of having some of their family move in, with all the benefits we’ve already covered. It also gives them a potential source of income if they choose to rent it.
Second, it can reduce the amount of time it takes for your home to sell. Homes with in-law suites are in higher demand so there’s a strong chance it will sell faster than a home with no secondary suite.
It’s Not Only for In-Laws
Secondary suites might be called an in-law suite but there’s much more to them than that. They could just as easily be called children suites, uncle suites, cousin suites, or close friend suites.
Whoever you choose to invite into your home, most of the benefits we’ve covered in this article still apply.
Was this post helpful? Be sure to check out the Family and Home and Garden sections of our blog for more tips and tricks for getting the most out of your home.