As we are continually improving our skills, Sheila and I recently acquired our Seniors Real Estate Specialist SRES designations through the National Association of Realtors and during the course the topic of a Granny Pod was discussed. What is a Granny Pod you ask?
A “Granny Pod” is a structure that is constructed either onsite or brought in prefabricated that will house a family member in your backyard. There are many companies throughout North America that build these structures and they range from basic cottages to mini hospital rooms.
With our aging Baby Boomer population and Millennials who are living at home longer, Granny Pods could be a solution for many families. In one YouTube video I watched, a family decided to build one in their backyard for their adult son. It was built with the intent that in a few years when they were ready to downsize and their son perhaps had started a family, they’d move to the pod and the son would move into the main house.
In many cases Baby Boomers are still very active and often living down south during our cold and snowy winters. Many want the luxury of homeownership but don’t want to worry about maintaining large properties or paying costly condo fees. If your municipality allows it, then a Granny Pod could be your solution.
From a medical prospective there are units such as MED cottages which are shown in the last bit of the second link above. These little gems are the best of both worlds allowing monitored independent living. Hi tech little cottages that monitor health issues and send the information electronically to loved ones who live just a hop, skip and a jump away. A great alternative for anyone who is still independent to a certain degree but should something happen, help is close by. Technology assists both the occupant and the family by using hi tech communication to enable them to monitor any health issues that are of or could be of concern. Even if Granny or Grandpa aren’t techy, features can be added that enable them the ability to send and receive messages and photographs over a large monitor and in some cases through their television.
Granny Pods aren’t for everyone but provide a great alternative for families who want or need to be close to family without moving in together.
Be sure to check with you local municipality as laws and regulations will vary from city to city. It will be interesting to see what the future brings as we are living longer and healthier than ever. Watch for a Granny Pod near you!