Sharing the burden of buying with multi-generational living26/04/17
There's no escaping the fact that property prices in Jersey can present a challenge to home ownership, particularly for young people taking their first steps onto the property ladder.
As a result, Jersey has quite a tradition of people looking to share the costs of property ownership by buying or renting properties that consist of more than one dwelling. Historically most Jersey farm houses had a dower wing or cottage for the older or younger generation to live in, before or after taking over the reins of the farm.
Enjoy the benefits of generations
Multi-generational living offers a wonderful way to enjoy the benefits of living as an extended family, whilst also enabling you to live in the home of your dreams.
The financial benefits alone are substantial. Not only can you move into a home that would otherwise be beyond your means, but it gives older generations the opportunity to help their younger relatives make a more comfortable start in life than would otherwise have been possible.
Many hands make light work
Living so closely with grandparents or great grandparents is fantastic for children who always benefit from the wisdom and attention that only gran and grandad can give! From the parents' perspective, having grandparents living close by means there's usually an extra pair of hands around to keep an eye out for the youngsters, whilst the grandparents themselves will delight in spending time with their grandchildren.
Having talked about the benefits of multi-generational living, it's important that families thinking of going down this route do so with their eyes open.
Although you may all be from the same family, it's vital that you're all very clear and happy with the living arrangements. Agreements should be drawn up that precisely identify the way costs will be shared between parties - and don't limit these to just the sharing of the mortgage or the rent. Maintenance costs, including cleaners and gardeners, and even electricity and communications costs, will need to be looked at and specified.
When drafting a sharing agreement, you should ensure that it deals with the future sale of the property, and includes provisions for dealing with the possibility that one generation may decide they want to move on. Will you all sell up or can the property be formally divided between dwellings?
You may be able to divide the existing property into two separate holdings, but this can be quite onerous and is not always possible, particularly in the case of adjoining self-contained apartments. If property division is the only way, then you'll need to engage lawyers to ensure the division is done properly and legally.
Looking at the long-term
Although there is a need for clear agreements, these are not reasons to put you off buying a multi-generational home. The advantages can be enormous. We've mentioned the help it can give to people trying to buy their first property and the benefits to people of retirement age, but there are even greater advantages when you look further into the future.
A multi-generational home, particularly in a small island like Jersey, can become the basis for a family's long-term store of wealth. It can create a handy solution for the challenges of today whilst also looking after future generations who won't have to worry about being able to afford their first home.
Current multi-generational properties
We usually have several properties on our books that are designed specifically for multi-generational living, or which can be easily converted to do so. Here are just a few examples currently for sale:
Multi-generational homes come in a range of values and we're constantly putting new ones on our website, so it's worth checking regularly to see if we have any that suit you