Many people nowadays are downsizing when their families leave home because they think they won't need so many bedrooms or such large family rooms with the children gone. Unless there is a very strong financial reason for moving to somewhere smaller, think very carefully. Children leaving home don't just go in one direction, sometimes, as the film title has it, they come back!
The Boomerang Generation
Not that many years ago, when a student went off to university, that was the end of their living at home full time, by and large. They would roll up their modern rugs, tuck their laptops under their arms, commandeer the house’s biggest telly and high tail it. You might see them for holidays but that was more or less the end of having that particular offspring living with you. Many parents went through serious ‘empty nest’ problems, but that always fades with time. However, now that jobs are harder to come by for graduates and rents and mortgages are more expensive and in the case of the latter, increasingly hard to get at all, many students come back after graduating.
Often when the eldest child moves out there is general stations in the house as other kids move on into the vacated bedroom. A bit of furniture shuffling, the installation of a shaggy rug in their chosen colour and it soon feels as if they have never slept anywhere else. The problem comes of course when the boomerang child comes back – whose bedroom is it? Does the returner get the box room? Does the new incumbent have to move out again? There is no hard and fast rule, but it can make for some very traumatic times until it is all sorted out and in some families it never is truly resolved.
And along come the grandchildren
Even if your child is not officially a boomerang, grandparents are more and more these days enrolled as child minders, either during the day or even over night. Whilst for most this isn’t a problem – just roll up the traditional rugs and put down a floor saver – it does cut down on any plans they might have had to move. So, before downsizing, take a moment to look into the future; you may even decide to get more bedrooms, not fewer to accommodate an even bigger family than before!