By Dean Caillier, Sales Representive with Engel & Völkers Ottawa Central, Brokerage
We cried when she left and we cried when she came back. I’m speaking about our daughter who left home seven years ago to live in Australia. She just arrived back home and, more specifically, back in our house with her Aussie boyfriend by her side.
With the jetlag now gone and government paperwork completed, they are now on the hunt for jobs in their respective professions. It won’t be long before they find their own place and once again leave home.
My wife and I had been talking about downsizing since all three of our kids left home. We have a big house, perfect for a growing family—not empy nesters.
With the arrival of our new roommates, as well as our other two daughters and their partners popping in a couple times a week plus Sunday dinners, the thought of selling and downsizing may not be the best option.
In fact, according to Statistics Canada August 2017 census, the share of young adults living with their parents is higher in Ontario than any other province, where the proportion of adults between the ages of 20 and 34 who were living with their parents was 42.1% in 2016, up from 35.0% in 2001—a 20.3% increase over the 15‑year period.
So with all the talk of downsizing, maybe upsizing is the better option. There was a time when it was the norm for multi-generational families to live together. Within some cultures, it is assumed grandparents, parents and their kids’ families live under one roof.
Some developers even build in-law suites and separate dwellings complete with their own entry and apartment, designed for multiple family living.
So instead of thinking smaller, like so many empty nesters, maybe I should think bigger. That or use the tried and tested method from that old Dairy Farmers commercial: “Stop cooking with cheese”, then maybe they’ll leave.
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