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Michelle Doell
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Changing Priorities

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Years ago Barbara and Curt Drumm found the perfect property on Jessica Lane to build their dream home. The 8 acres was the perfect mix of being close to everything in Prince Frederick but still a private sanctuary surrounded by trees. It also had an old tobacco barn, the perfect first project for the couple. They turned the barn into their living quarters but left the touches of the old barn. You can still see the beams in the barn apartment today.

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The barn allowed them to watch the construction of their custom 2800 square foot rancher. “I would come home from work and once the kids were in bed I would come down to the house and work on things.” Barbara says “We lived there for a year while we built our house. Afterwards the apartment was a nice source of extra income.”

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Like millions of Americans, Barbara’s mother was getting older. The Drumms made a decision to have her move into their home so they could help her as she aged. They didn’t want her to feel like she was living with them, so they built her a complete one-bedroom apartment above their 3-car garage. The apartment has it’s own entrance but is connected to the main house for ease. Barbara explains “We figured she should have her own space and she agreed.  It was not in our original plans to do an in-law apartment but it worked out for the best.”

Privacy is one of the things AARP and Generations United suggest families think about when they decide to move in together or form a multigenerational home. They recommend answering the following questions before making the decision.

  • Is this temporary or a permanent move?
  • How will the bills be taken care of?
  • How will the responsibilities and chores be divided?
  • How much privacy can you expect?
  • Will there be shared space or separate spaces?

More and more families are moving towards the multigenerational household. Pew Research shows 57 million Americans (double the number from the ‘80’s) are living in this type home and the number is growing every day. The biggest gain happened in 2008 when the economy crashed. Families moved in together to help save money and to share living costs. The trend has continued as housing prices rise but wages haven’t always kept up with the increases.

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Remember the barn the Drumms made into an apartment? It came in handy when their daughter wanted to save up for a house. It was the perfect solution. “ We made the decision to have them move in there.  Eventually they got back on their feet and were paying us to help with the mortgage.  They now have their own home.”

When the Drumms envisioned their house, they never thought it would be the perfect multigenerational sanctuary that it has become. The daughter has a home of her own and the Drumms are looking to downsize so the house is now on the market. They hope another family will cherish it as they have.

For more information about Jessica Lane

Looking for a multigenerational home or thinking of selling one. I would love to help. Send me an email Michelle.Doell@KW.com or call me direct at 410-474-8995 or my broker at 410-972-4000.

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Posted on August 13, 2015 at 9:31 am by Michelle Doell

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