Com­ment: Why flex­i­ble homes hold the key

John El­liott, man­ag­ing direc­tor of Mill­wood De­signer Homes dis­cusses the im­por­tance of home­builders ex­pand­ing into the mar­ket of multi­gen­er­a­tional liv­ing, by of­fer­ing fam­i­lies new homes with greater flex­i­bil­ity

Kent Messenger Maidstone - West Kent Property - - FRONT PAGE - More de­tails at www. mill­wood­de­sign­er­homes.co.uk

With mod­ern fam­ily life chang­ing as younger gen­er­a­tions save for a de­posit of their own and older gen­er­a­tions move back in with their chil­dren, multi-gen­er­a­tional liv­ing is be­com­ing in­creas­ing pop­u­lar in Bri­tain.

Re­cent re­search com­piled by the NHBC Foun­da­tion shows that more than 1.8m house­holds in the UK con­tain two or more adult gen­er­a­tions. My un­der­stand­ing is that this sig­nif­i­cant rise in re­cent years has been largely down to the num­ber of adults over 25, who con­tinue to live in the fam­ily home with their par­ents.

Multi-gen­er­a­tional liv­ing is be­com­ing more ap­peal­ing to home­buy­ers due to the ben­e­fits it of­fers for all in­volved. As well as the so­cial ben­e­fit of liv­ing to­gether, split­ting bills costs, help­ing with child­care and pro­vid­ing sup­port for older fam­ily mem­bers are amongst sev­eral pros to hav­ing more than one gen­er­a­tion, liv­ing un­der one roof.

At present, only 16% of fam­i­lies be­lieve their ex­ist­ing house would be suit­able. I be­lieve there is def­i­nitely an ex­pand­ing mar­ket for multi-gen­er­a­tional homes, which more home­builders should be tap­ping into.

At our be­spoke Laven­der Fields devel­op­ment near Lewes in East Sus­sex we are sell­ing a se­lec­tion of large five and six-bed­room fam­ily homes, which have been care­fully de­signed to pro­vide lux­u­ri­ous yet prac­ti­cal liv­ing spa­ces, ideal for mod­ern fam­ily life.

The lay­outs in­clude self­con­tained ar­eas such as pri­vate home-of­fices or work­shops fea­tur­ing kitch­enettes and a toi­let and gen­er­ously sized bed­rooms, com­plete with en-suites for pri­vacy.

In other coun­tries, multi­gen­er­a­tional liv­ing is recog­nised as im­prov­ing well­be­ing and con­tribut­ing to an ef­fec­tive use of hous­ing stock and the UK must fol­low suit.

As home­builders, we have been pre­sented with an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity to design new homes with flex­i­ble lay­outs to suit a range of liv­ing cir­cum­stances and gen­er­a­tions through­out a life­time.

Mill­wood de­vel­op­ments: There are three Mill­wood De­signer Homes de­vel­op­ments be­ing worked on in Kent – at Maid­stone, Mar­den and Sut­ton Va­lence.

Wind­sor Meadow in Plain Road, Mar­den will be made up of 86 houses, rang­ing from twobed­room ter­raced homes to five-bed­room de­tached homes. The show home is open daily be­tween 11am and 5pm with the first homes ready to move into this win­ter. Prices start from £465,000.

The Or­chard at Sut­ton Va­lence is a small devel­op­ment of five homes. One home has al­ready been sold leav­ing just a pair of three-bed­room homes, one de­tached four-bed­room home plus a de­tached five-bed­room prop­erty. Prices start from £465,000.

Bram­ble­down at Crip­ple Street in Maid­stone will have 36 homes in­clud­ing two and three-bed­room chalet bun­ga­lows. Some homes will be ready to move into this au­tumn with the re­main­der com­plete by next spring.

A new devel­op­ment at Cliff­send, near Rams­gate, is also in the pipe­line.

The Or­chard, Sut­ton Va­lence, built by Mill­wood De­signer Homes

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