Multiple occupants in a home can create synergies. And, synergies in most situations are beneficial. With home buying, sharing with friends or family offers a host of ways to collaborate on services and finances.

But how does a home respond to the needs of these multiple buyers and offer them the right place to create these synergies? CR Herro, vice president of environmental affairs at Meritage Homes and the lead on the reNEWable Living Home, explains here how the builder is presenting a strategic design that answers these questions.

A recent Zillow report by Lauren Bretz titled As Rents Rise, More Renters Turn to Doubling Up looks at some of the financial synergies that are created in a multigenerational home. In addition, the research dedicated to the 2018 BUILDER Concept project, the reNEWable Living Home, showed that the most important reason for interest in multigenerational floor plans was for financial assistance.

In Zillow’s research, the trend toward doubling up also was found to be heavily influenced by finances. In this research, there was a strong relationship between doubling up and rental affordability. In metro areas with higher rents, there is a higher rate of co-living, with the most extreme examples being in Los Angeles (46%), Miami (41%), and San Francisco (38%).

Although the reNEWable Living Home's multigenerational floor plan offers many aspects of synergies, it offers the financial benefits as well. The Zillow report showed that most shared household situations had lower incomes than those who lived alone, $30,000 as an annual income versus $45,000. So, those living with roommates on average make more than 30% less than those who live without someone else.

Since the main inspiration for multigenerational living is financial, this puts builders in a prime position to offer new floor plans that speak to affordable shared spaces. Builders already offering multigenerational plans can take the opportunity to speak to the benefits of financial savings and synergies throughout the marketing and sales process.

The reNEWable Living Home project certainly highlights this trend, exploring much of the influencing factors through the white paper available here. It becomes a true case study for design best practices, an important aspect of the future of home building since Zillow finds that the share of adults doubling up has increased year over year in every age bracket since 2005. In addition, the share of home buyers aged 23 to 29 living in doubled-up households has increased the fastest, from 39% to 54% in just 11 years.

Read more about the multigenerational design features of the concept home at