Posted on 3rd April 2015

Rise of the 3G Home

Martin Williamson, Head of Residential PropertyBy Martin Williamson, Head of Residential Property, Latimer Hinks Solicitors

If youve ever looked at a fantastic new build detached home and assumed it was way beyond your budget, you could be in for a surprise, if you are prepared to be flexible.

Homes today are different from how they were even a decade ago. While the trend has been to downsize, many developers are looking to the growing family market and are upsizing their properties. According to a report by the National House Building Council (NHBC), larger living spaces look set to be increasingly the norm. At the same time, the cost of living and property prices are encouraging many families to live in three generational, or 3G homes. According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, a record 313, 000 homes contain two or more families, and this is the fastest growing type of household in Great Britain.

The NHBC states in its research that many extended families are choosing to live together under the same roof. Co-homing is becoming increasingly the norm alongside other means of getting on the housing ladder, such as applying to the so-called Bank of Mum and Dad. Other ways of making a property stretch further include adding an annexe, which is often used by extended families for grandparents or teenagers who may need a little more independence.

Pooling resources can be an excellent way to either get a foot on the housing ladder, or else to move up it. This may mean moving back in with parents, or in some cases, grandparents, but it may be the positive solution to a real housing need, and can make it possible for people to afford a larger property. There are also many perks such as shared bills and other household costs as well as free babysitting for young parents, for example.

Household budget planning can be an issue when a household is shared, so its always a good idea to sit down and work out how the main bills will be divided and who will be responsible for day-to-day expenses, such as food. To encourage inter-generational harmony, its wise to ensure that everyone contributes to the household kitty. In the same way, do consider drawing up rotas for chores and childcare or pet sitting, if applicable; never assume acquiescence. Regular household meetings are also a sound idea.

There are a lot of issues to take into account if planning to buy in this way, such as the consideration of legal and tax-planning issues and what is to happen if the arrangements dont work out as everyone expected you must seek advice from a solicitor.

Please note: This article is intended as guidance only and does not constitute advice, financial or otherwise.

For further information please contact Martin Williamson