All in the Family
This was the name of a television show back in the 70s’ featuring the tensions between two generations of adults living under one roof in a large city.
On a weekly basis it demonstrated how tension could build from the difference in personal values of each age group and how they saw the world.
It was in stark contrast to another popular series of the same decade, The Waltons, which showed the loving interdependence of three generations living together in one home during the Depression in rural Virginia.
In my opinion one of the most difficult type of acreages for a Realtor to sell is the one roof home that has two main level quasi-independent living units.
If this type of housing was in town it could be likely portrayed as a potential revenue property but out in the country, most owners seek privacy from neighbours, not intimate close quarters.
There are lots of folks who dream of living where the stars can be seen and coyotes howl, but realistically it is a small buyer pool at the best of times.
Offer a unique design home and the number of interested people shrinks dramatically.
Frankly I commend any family that can share adjacent living quarters under one roof.
Too often I have been called in to sell the property after one or the other inhabitant has left; sometimes for health or employment reasons, but mostly because interpersonal relationships have reached the breaking point.
Clients state the original reasons for the multi-unit design was reduced construction cost and increased support for activities of daily living; both valid points.
Most rural municipal governments will not allow two independent residences in the same yard site on a parcel size less than a quarter section, therefore the drive to build under one roofline.
I’m sure there is a good reason for the zoning bylaw but to me it would make more sense to allow a version of the “garden house” so popular in progressive urban centres.
My Grandma Jane lived in a small park-model mobile home in her daughter’s yard. It gave both parties some breathing space.
As kids we could go visit her and be sure to get a cookie, then return to the big house in search of another one!
When she could no longer live there, a neighbour relocated the structure for a lake cabin.
Of course, most rural municipal councils have no problem with approving a second residence being established in a farm yard for the hired man and his family.
Granted it is not on a ten acre site, but even so the density of housing is still nowhere close to an urban setting.
I think they should re-visit their reasoning for discriminating based on parcel size.
It would make for a more prudent investment by the landowner and achieve the desired goals.
So, in the spirit of Hollywood perceptions of life as one big happy family all I can say is “Goodnight, John Boy!”
Vern McClelland is an associate broker with RE/MAX of Lloydminster. He can be reached at (780) 808-2700, through www.vernmcclelland.com or by following the Midwest Group Lloydminster on Facebook.