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Parents of adult kids + s/o of small/big houses...


Hikin' Mama
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I'm planning/dreaming here. We will most likely sell our business in the next 10 years and will have to move, which I'm happy about. I want a smaller house (currently have a little over 3000 sf), but still want space for my kids and their families when they come to visit. So if your kids are grown and gone, do you have a bedroom for each of your kids to stay in? I have three kids and two of them have already moved on, one already has a family. I have found a 4 bedroom house in the "big city" that would be perfect for us and has less square footage, but is laid out better than our current house. We're not buying anything yet, but I'm just thinking ahead.

 

What has worked for you?

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Our oldest dd is married and has four young children. When they visit, they all sleep in the same room even though we have another room with beds for the older girls.  So when we retire, I'm not planning on having enough rooms for everyone. If that happens, great, but not making it a must have. 

 

In our case, I think our kids congregate in that one room because it's very large and has a tv.   When dd is here, she and ds will occasionally both sleep in that room- one on the futon and one on the floor- because they want to watch movies and chat all night until they fall asleep.  

 

I model it on what happens when dh and I visit our folks- we sleep as little as possible since we want to maximize the time we're with them. So we don't care where we actually sleep since that's all we're doing is getting enough to start having fun the next day.  

 

My sister and folks used to visit us every summer and we joked that we ran a 24 hour hotel. Sister went to sleep early and got up about 4 AM while my dad went to bed around 2 Am...we'd just be getting to sleep when we'd hear my sister start the shower. 

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We have one family that has to travel to visit us. We have two guest rooms and the family room downstairs that they take over.

Parents have the room next to the guest bath, grands use the other guest room and the sofas in the family room.

We do have another family moving away later this summer (cue the tears ) and I have no idea how we will accommodate two families. Mostly because my son is 6' 6 " and I don't have a bed that will fit him anymore!

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Okay, I am one of the kids who goes home to visit, though we've had relatively large families stay with us sometimes too. My parents have one of the main places to crash when extended family is in town--they are centrally located in the town where most of the extended family came from originally. They have a large family room, but other than that, they really have a 3-bedroom house with two of the bedrooms being small. They have two full baths. They've had 19 people sleep over relatively comfortably (5 nuclear families made up the 19, so 9 of those people were children)! The can put an entire family in the master bedroom (no attached bath). They have one large family room that can sleep on couple, a smaller office that sleeps two, and the other two bedrooms can adapt to a variety of uses. Everyone flexed on bathroom time--most of the kids were fairly little, so family bathroom time wasn't a big deal. If this is repeated with older kids, that would have to be formalized a little better.

 

How you use the space matters more than having tons of it. Couch beds, floor space with an air mattress, futon, whatever. We/my parents prioritize having a place for kids to go to bed and adults can stay up to talk (sleep is a big deal for our kids). 

 

No one really gets to sleep entirely alone when we visit or have visitors; however, unless small children are involved, couples usually get to sleep in their own rooms with kids bunking together in another room. (Really large gatherings aside.) If a child with special needs requires total privacy, there is just enough flex with typical visits that we can make that happen. If that need arises with a smaller gathering, someone would get a hotel room with no problems.

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This is something we have been talking about.  DH and I really want to get some land and put a large yurt on it.  We hadn't planned on doing a loft for an extra bed.  We have begun to realize our relationships with our kids are better than with our parents and it's very possible these kids will want to come visit when they get married/have kids.  Now I am leaning toward building something so we can have 2 bedrooms with walls.  I don't want a house with rooms for both kids and their future families.  But I would like some guest space.  Not sure what we will end up doing, but we won't be the people with multiple guest rooms.  It will be simple.  We have downsized a lot in the last 3 years and can't wait to do it again.  When the kids leave dh and I plan on very small space!

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I think whatever the size, people will come visit if you want them there. I've known a couple with a monster house, and they don't receive many visitors. Another couple has two bedrooms, a loft, and a living room. They have visitors all the time because they are welcoming of anyone who wants to come. I would pick a size house that I am willing to clean on a regular basis.

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Okay, I am one of the kids who goes home to visit, though we've had relatively large families stay with us sometimes too. My parents have one of the main places to crash when extended family is in town--they are centrally located in the town where most of the extended family came from originally. They have a large family room, but other than that, they really have a 3-bedroom house with two of the bedrooms being small. They have two full baths. They've had 19 people sleep over relatively comfortably (5 nuclear families made up the 19, so 9 of those people were children)! The can put an entire family in the master bedroom (no attached bath). They have one large family room that can sleep on couple, a smaller office that sleeps two, and the other two bedrooms can adapt to a variety of uses. Everyone flexed on bathroom time--most of the kids were fairly little, so family bathroom time wasn't a big deal. If this is repeated with older kids, that would have to be formalized a little better.

 

How you use the space matters more than having tons of it. Couch beds, floor space with an air mattress, futon, whatever. We/my parents prioritize having a place for kids to go to bed and adults can stay up to talk (sleep is a big deal for our kids). 

 

No one really gets to sleep entirely alone when we visit or have visitors; however, unless small children are involved, couples usually get to sleep in their own rooms with kids bunking together in another room. (Really large gatherings aside.) If a child with special needs requires total privacy, there is just enough flex with typical visits that we can make that happen. If that need arises with a smaller gathering, someone would get a hotel room with no problems.

 

I am also one of the kids who goes home to visit with my 4 children.  We have tried what you mention above at my parents house for holidays.  But then no one (adults anyway) really get a restfull sleep.  I don't sleep well on an air mattress.  After I don't sleep well for 4 nights....well, I'm not that nice to be around.  What I really wish my parents would do is take the 3 bedrooms and instead of having a full bed in each one, put 2 sets of bunk beds.  Then at least everyone could be in their own bed.  As it stands now, we usually stay in a hotel when there will be more people than my family staying at my parents house.

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It depends on how much you want to see your grandchildren.

 

If you want to see them daily, then move next door.

 

If you want them to just visit a lot, then move to a really cool resort and have adequate accommodations.

 

If you only want to see them on Christmas or Thanksgiving every other year, then make sure your accommodations are not so nice and/or move to an ugly town very far away.

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It depends on how much you want to see your grandchildren.

 

If you want to see them daily, then move next door.

 

If you want them to just visit a lot, then move to a really cool resort and have adequate accommodations.

 

If you only want to see them on Christmas or Thanksgiving every other year, then make sure your accommodations are not so nice and/or move to an ugly town very far away.

In my dream world I would get to see my grandkids every day. But I have three kids and I don't think they will all live nearby. My oldest (and the only one with kids so far) is in the military so his location will probably change often. But, lucky me! He and his family are taking their 30 day leave in a few months and staying at my house. I am so stinkin' excited!

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I am also one of the kids who goes home to visit with my 4 children.  We have tried what you mention above at my parents house for holidays.  But then no one (adults anyway) really get an restful sleep.  I don't sleep well on an air mattress.  After I don't sleep well for 4 nights....well, I'm not that nice to be around.  What I really wish my parents would do it take the 3 bedrooms and instead of having a full bed in each one, put 2 sets of bunk beds.  Then at least everyone could be in their own bed.  As it stands now, we usually stay in a hotel when there will be more people than my family staying at my parents house.

 

I think that is a great idea. I am fairly certain my parents have considered this possibility as well.

 

My point is just that the amount of space isn't always what makes a house able to accommodate more guests. And I probably should have stated that if you don't want to pay for/maintain, etc. a large house, it's probably cheaper to pay for hotel rooms when people visit--how its presented will probably determine how welcome people feel. Some might feel more welcome because they need privacy and feel respected on that issue.

 

My parents also solicit feedback to be sure people are comfortable and adapt as the kids grow, needs change, etc. If family members do not communicate well or freely, this is an entirely different situation.

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I have been thinking about this a lot.  I have 4 kids and I want them to come over often!  I want to buy a house that is better laid out than the one we have. I want the kids and their families to want to come.  My parents house is pretty uncomfortable and it does keep people away.  Its kind of funny that we already have 1 moved out, but we are actually looking at slightly larger houses to buy (or just a different floor plan with the same square footage).

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Oh, what a great idea - bunk beds.  I could put some in the other tiny bedroom and get a sleeper love sofa and that would take care of at least 3 of our dc.  And one could sleep on the couch and another on the floor on some kind of something or on something out on the porch.  :)

 

I highly recommend a bunk room. Our bunk room has two stacked full size beds and two stacked twins; it sleeps six kids or four adults. It's very cozy, but great for visitors.

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I think that is a great idea. I am fairly certain my parents have considered this possibility as well.

 

My point is just that the amount of space isn't always what makes a house able to accommodate more guests. And I probably should have stated that if you don't want to pay for/maintain, etc. a large house, it's probably cheaper to pay for hotel rooms when people visit--how its presented will probably determine how welcome people feel. Some might feel more welcome because they need privacy and feel respected on that issue.

 

My parents also solicit feedback to be sure people are comfortable and adapt as the kids grow, needs change, etc. If family members do not communicate well or freely, this is an entirely different situation.

 

I do agree you don't need a huge house in order to be a comfortable place to stay.  I enjoy staying at my MIL's home more than my parents.  She has about 1100 square feet compared to their 2500.  It's just the way it's arranged.  She has the two sets of bunk beds in her second bedroom for our kids.  It's a tight fit, but it works because she doesn't need that room for anything else.  DH and I are able to sleep on the pullout in the basement with the baby in a pack n' play.  While my parents home is much larger, their main level is open concept.  It's a beautiful, giant room.  One room.  While the family room is large enough to have many people sleep in it, all my siblings and I agree it's TERRIBLE to be there.  There's always someone up late (adults talking) or someone up early(all the children) and since it's open concept you can't actually find anywhere quiet downstairs to be.  My Dad has an office but we're not allowed to be in there as he saves it as his retreat when we're all at home =)  One Christmas my youngest sister, still single, ended up sleeping in the laundry room.  

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I think about this often. I would LOVE a tiny home (albeit not 200 sf tiny - maybe more like 600 sf tiny), so we could just be free of a lot of maintenance. Dh wants to have a home in Destin, and a tiny house would allow us the opportunity to still have a base here near the children/grandchildren so I could be here at least half the time.

 

The other thing is that I'd LOVE a huge place where everyone could be whenever they want.

 

Right now we have a 5 bdrm house that isn't laid out to have a huge family area, so we are torn between a remodel and a move when it's paid off (within about 18 months). We love our property and location, so remodeling is probably what we will do, but I'd really love to downsize overall.

 

Gee that was a lot of rambling just to say I understand your dilemma...

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I'm planning/dreaming here. We will most likely sell our business in the next 10 years and will have to move, which I'm happy about. I want a smaller house (currently have a little over 3000 sf), but still want space for my kids and their families when they come to visit. So if your kids are grown and gone, do you have a bedroom for each of your kids to stay in? I have three kids and two of them have already moved on, one already has a family. I have found a 4 bedroom house in the "big city" that would be perfect for us and has less square footage, but is laid out better than our current house. We're not buying anything yet, but I'm just thinking ahead.

 

What has worked for you?

 

We sold our 1000 sq.ft. home in California (3 bedrooms, 1  & 1/2 bathrooms, no family room) and moved to Texas, where we bought a 3000+ sq. ft. home, 4 bedrooms (could be 5, but we use the one downstairs as an office), 4 full baths, dining room, living room, family room, game room,  kitchen, breakfast nook, and we love it. Both dds can come with their dhs and each have their own bedroom and bathroom. My brother and his wife and their two dc have visited a couple of times; bedroom/bathroom for brother and his wife, bedroom, jack-and-jill bathroom for each dc. We have plenty of room for all sorts of people to be milling around or or eating or sleeping or bathing simultaneously.

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We just moved from a 5 br/ 31/2 ,farmhouse to a 3 br/ 2 1/2 bath exposed ranch. Everything my husband and I need is upstairs. Both secondary bedrooms are on the Lower level. One of the bedrooms is huge with a efficiency kitchen. There is also a huge family room down there. So hopefully that sets us up well for a bunch of visits!

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We sold our 1000 sq.ft. home in California (3 bedrooms, 1 & 1/2 bathrooms, no family room) and moved to Texas, where we bought a 3000+ sq. ft. home, 4 bedrooms (could be 5, but we use the one downstairs as an office), 4 full baths, dining room, living room, family room, game room, kitchen, breakfast nook, and we love it. Both dds can come with their dhs and each have their own bedroom and bathroom. My brother and his wife and their two dc have visited a couple of times; bedroom/bathroom for brother and his wife, bedroom, jack-and-jill bathroom for each dc. We have plenty of room for all sorts of people to be milling around or or eating or sleeping or bathing simultaneously.

Sounds lovely. But then I would have to clean it!

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