Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Grandparents' Apartments

We lived for 24 years in a compound. My grandparents built an apartment complex beside their house back in the 1960's, composed of 4 large 3-bedroom apartment units and a one bedroom unit. They had 4 sons and 1 daughter. What they envisioned was that their sons would eventually marry and would need a place to stay for their families. Thus it would be a simple (and cheap) matter to just move into the adjacent apartment unit (No need to hire moving trucks!) The daughter was expected to marry out and her husband was expected to provide for her housing. I'm guessing though that the small 1-bedroom apartment was probably envisioned as a halfway house of sorts for maybe the daughter and son-in-law.

I think it was a great idea! Three of their four sons did live for a while in the apartments. Eventually though, they wanted their own house and eventually moved out. We were actually the last family to move out. But in the meantime, they had a place to stay that was independent of their parents. It's the best of both worlds -- a free place to stay, with relative autonomy but having parents nearby whenever you need them. I think it's perfect for newlyweds. When the units were unused, my grandparents were able to rent them out for extra income.

I hope that I would be able to provide for my kids' housing, even if it's just a small condo or apartment unit that could serve as their startup housing. If they eventually want a bigger place, I could rent out the unit for additional income for their old age.