I bring this up, because it seems like we are seeing a shift in the market away from the home's residents consisting of a traditional family. If we define the term "family" by "those who share a home together," the idea of family does seem to be evolving. As mentioned above, extended family will cohabit with other family members. But there are also friends who become roommates indefinitely and many other scenarios. There are many reasons for this, I think. The economic challenges preventing families from becoming more independent is certainly one of them. The bigger the number of residents there are, the more the financial burden of home ownership can be spread around. However, I think we need to come to terms with the idea that financial motivations may not be all there is to this trend.
People have always needed to share a sense of community with those who live with them. It could be that larger families dwelling in single homes isn't just a way to share financial burdens but also a way to strengthen social bonds. I'm not really sure. But, for those of us in the mortgage industry, we need to be careful not to define the future by the past. We need to keep our minds open to where the market is headed. We may not like it but, if the market is changing, we'll need to be prepared to deal with it.
Sometimes in the mortgage industry, we tend to think of the family in a somewhat narrow sense. We have a vision in our minds of the typical mother and father will two to three children and perhaps a family dog living in a two thousand square foot home with a sizable yard and a white picket fence. For much of human history, though, and still in many other cultures, family includes more than parents and children. Family includes grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and maybe even a few friends.