The future of multi-generational living

Lack of affordability in Canadian real estate and pandemic-fueled attitudes on multi-generational living have combined to create a hole in the housing market — a hole Marshall Homes is determined to fill with its unique Flexhouz™ Series.

Designed for two families to call home at once, Flexhouz™ is the ideal solution for families who want to merge their generations under one roof.

The impact grandparents can make in helping raise the younger generation is profound. From mentoring their grandchildren to taking care of them when the parents are busy, grandparents often strive to help in any way they can.

After quality time with their grandchildren, grandparents who live in one of our Flexhouz™ designs can retreat to their own homes just a few metres away. Everyone deserves their own space to call home, and that is where our Flexhouz™ Series excels.

Marshall Flexhouz’s™ are large homes featuring a smaller, independent suite inside of it. Complete with its own entrance, garage, kitchen, beautiful living space, and a lockable door connecting the two homes, a large family can live as one while still having time and space to themselves.

Shifting Attitudes on Multi-Generational Living

Multi-gen and multi-family living is common in many cultures outside North America, and it looks like we are starting to take notes. Stats Canada reported that roughly 6 percent of Canadians were living in multi-generational households as of 2016, their most recent data, but experts believe this could be changing.

On top of the familial reasons for living in a multi-family home, such as childcare or looking after an elderly family member, families are beginning to move in together to offset the rising costs of housing and living.

Toronto’s average home price hit a record $1.3 million in January 2022, with similar highs reached in Durham, $1.05 million, and York, $1.41 million.

Flexhouz™ combats this affordability crisis many young families and first-time buyers are facing. Multiple incomes can be leveraged when applying for a mortgage and going the Flexhouz™ route can cost less than buying your parents a condo or paying to house them in retirement communities.

A Prudent Financial Decision

Besides combatting affordability and keeping the family close, building your own Flexhouz™ is a great step towards building equity within the family. Having home equity gives you an asset that you can use when you need it.

Further, having your grandparents live next door can help significantly with childcare costs. We know how quickly they can add up, and this unique take on the future of Canadian housing is prepared to meet those costs head-on.

A Home Fit for Your Needs

Flexhouz’s™ are completely customizable, giving you the ability to build a house perfect for your family. Maybe you have some very specific requirements for your lifestyle, and you’re having a hard time finding one that suits your family. Building a Flexhouz™ from the ground up ensures your home is up to your family’s standards.

A lot of people spend their first few months in their new home reconfiguring and replacing things they don’t like.

When you build your own custom home, you will get to make all these decisions from the very beginning. Design the home of your dreams and don’t worry about the hassle of living on a construction site when you build your Flexhouz™ with Marshall Homes.

Rising affordability issues and the multiple benefits of having family close at hand makes our Flexhouz™ Series of homes a clear choice for the future of Canadian living.

Flex Houz: Housing that makes sense for today’s families

With two homes in one, our new Flex Houz is making it easier for multi-generational families to live together and enjoy it.

Can a house solve some of life’s more pressing problems? We think so.

Times change and for the first time since Canada recorded such things, there are more seniors aged 65+ than there are children.

On the other end of the spectrum it’s never been so difficult for young people to own their own home.

And in the middle? Working moms and dads are taking care of their parents and trying to help their kids make their way in the world.

Not surprisingly, multi-generational households (defined as having two or more adult generations living under one roof) are on the rise. But traditional floor plans meant for parents and minor-age children haven’t kept up with your lifestyle. You need an alternative that works.

Enter Flex Houz

Unlike anything we’ve ever created, Flex Houz is a home inspired by and for multi-generational living. When it comes to creating floor plans and communities, we believe our best source of inspiration is you.

Let’s give it some context.

Scenario 1:

We know that caring for an aging parent comes with a whole host of emotions and demands. Your options are limited: assisted living or leaving parents in their own home and hoping they’ll be alright.

Flex Houz means independent living for a parent and peace of mind for you.

Scenario 2:

Or maybe it’s an adult child saving for a home of their own. Flex Houz may be the one way to ensure harmony and keep the peace allowing for privacy and the freedom to come and go. (And maybe the added bonus of a home cooked meal every now and then.)

Regardless of which end of the spectrum you’re accommodating, the financial and practical benefits are game changers. But before we look at those, let’s take a look at how Flex Houz works.

Two Homes in One

From the outside, it looks like a traditional house. Created for standard 50’ foot lots, these home have the appearance of a normal single-family residence. But walk through the spacious interiors, and you’ll quickly discover the difference.

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill single family home. It’s a home within a home. That’s right — two complete homes under one roof. Instead of one front door, you’ll find two. Same goes for the living areas, kitchen, garage, laundry room and mudroom. Both the primary house and the self-contained suite—located on the main floor (no stairs!)—have all the features you’d expect to find in a complete home.

Separating the two spaces is an interior door. Leave it open to bring everyone together. Or close it off when you need privacy. (Because we get it. You love your family, but sometimes a little separation is a good thing.) This perfect balance between proximity and privacy is the genius behind Flex Houz. This “home within a home” design keeps everyone together, creating the opportunity for memorable moments, but it also gives each family member a sense of independence and a place to call their own. Flex Houz will help make the transition and daily reality of life together as a multigenerational family the best it can be.

Housing that makes sense today

Besides the benefits to your relationships and family—and the fact that you’re getting two homes for the price of one—there are a number of additional perks that come from having two complete living spaces under one roof. Here are a few of the benefits from choosing Flex Houz.

1. Create equity while caring for your family. Beyond our vision of making it easier for multigenerational families to live together and enjoy it, we see Flex Houz as a solid solution to the financial dilemma of assisting aging parents or millennial-aged children with their living arrangements. Rather than pouring your hard-earned finances into a senior community or assisted living facility or having to funnel it into a deposit on your children’s first apartment, Flex Houz allows you to channel those funds into your own mortgage. Creating equity while caring for your family—it’s a win-win. And, it’s the reason Flex Houz is a smart economic solution to the increasingly high cost of housing.

2. Lighten your load. Besides the benefit of a single mortgage or housing cost, Flex Houz also creates the opportunity to share in home-based tasks and costs. With two generations under one roof, both parties can chip in with lawn care, monthly utilities, child care, etc.

3. Make it custom. Like every home we build at Marshall Homes, this one is customizable to meet your needs and tastes. Really, we should say they both are because we know that just because you are family doesn’t mean you agree on everything. Let’s say you prefer a white kitchen with subway tiles and driftwood-style floors, but your mom wants espresso cabinets with a granite backsplash and tile floors. We’ve got you covered. The primary house and the multigen suite both include luxe modern finishes and amenities that can be tailored separately to individual preferences.

4. Flex your floor plan. Flex Houz is poised to help you live your best life now as a multi-generational family. But, it’s also designed to give you options for the future. We’ve kept versatility at the forefront of the design because we know that nothing stays the same forever. As your seasons and life situations change, Flex Houz adapts. Maybe for now it makes sense to invite an aging family member into the multigen space. Down the road, you may need the space for an adult child. Or, maybe you don’t need a full-time space for family now but could benefit from a home office or a suite for visiting relatives. Life changes, your house should be able to change with it, and Flex Houz does just that.

Your property or ours?

And, to make things that much sweeter, we’re offering Flex Houz in two ways: 1) as a floor plan that can be built as a custom home on your own lot or 2) as an option at our new community, Frontier Court. (But here’s a tip: there are only 7 lots and at 50-feet each, they are a rare find today so be sure to register.)

10 Things We Love About Pickering

The search for a new home is so much more than just the actual house … or townhome … or condo. The location and its proximity to work, schools and the community are all super important too.

We’re pretty bullish on Pickering. We’re not just building communities like The Altona Towns in Pickering … it’s our home too.

So who better to share the love, than us?

If you ask us, Pickering has it all – the laid-back charm of a small waterfront town with the amenities of city life. Read on to discover a few of our favorite things about Pickering and the surrounding area.

Altona Forest

Some of the best natural beauty that the GTA has to offer is only steps from your doorstep thanks to Altona Town’s proximity to Altona Forest. Nature trails wind through the conservation area, inviting you to explore streams, ponds, forests and an abundance of native trees, plants and flowers. It’s a great place to head out for a hike after work or on the weekend.

Pickering Casino & Waterpark

Big things are happening in Pickering. Over 200 acres of previously untouched land next to Highway 401 is the soon-to-be-home of an impressive entertainment complex called Durham Live. The development will be home to a host of attractions including a casino, an indoor water park, a 15-screen theater and an array of restaurants and shops.

Beachfront Park and Millennium Square

With sweeping views of Lake Ontario and lush wetlands, Beachfront Park is a great place to birdwatch, picnic or just enjoy the sights and sounds of Lake Ontario from a shaded bench while the kids play in the splash pad or on one of the two playgrounds. Walk next door to Millennium Square to browse boutiques or have a bite to eat. During the summer months, can’t-miss entertainment includes carnivals and evening concerts.

Altona Forest Public School and University of Toronto (Scarborough Campus)

No matter where your children are in their educational careers—elementary, secondary or post-secondary—the Pickering area offers ample learning opportunities thanks to the proximity of Altona Forest Public Schools and the University of Toronto’s Scarborough Campus.

The former received solid marks in the Fraser Institute’s annual ranking of public schools, while the University of Toronto is renowned world-wide. The vibrant Scarborough campus is home to Canada’s largest investment in amateur sport infrastructure – the new Aquatics Centre and Field House.

The Rouge National Urban Park

The country’s first urban national park, Rouge Park is a gateway to nature for residents of Pickering and beyond. Resplendent with natural beauty, the park features over 1,700 species of plants and animals, beckoning visitors to explore meadows, wetlands, sandy beaches, historic farms and waterways. Favorite family-friendly activities include kayaking or paddle boarding, hiking, riverside camping and beach volleyball. All this a quick 10-minutes from your door.

Farmer’s Market

Experience Pickering at its best at the seasonal Farmer’s Market every Tuesday from June to October.

Spend a relaxing morning meeting friendly locals and discovering fresh produce and artisanal goods. Enjoy a snack or samples from food vendors, take in the sounds of local bands and participate in family-friendly activities. Each week revolves around a different theme and corresponding activities, including Food Truck Day, Pickering Blooms Day and Art & Music Day, to name a few.

Pickering Town Centre

Whether you consider shopping a sport or you just love to browse, the Pickering Town Centre mall – with over 200 restaurants and retailers – has got you covered. Amenities include a toddler play park – a spot for the kiddos to run off some energy while you take a break from shopping.

Restaurants include everything from gourmet fare to quick-bite selections, and a Cineplex VIP Cinemas features 12 screens and four auditoriums with food service and luxury loungers.

Pickering GO Stations

Regional transit is convenient in Pickering thanks to the Pickering GO station. Adjacent to Highway 401, the station has more parking spaces than other station in the system—3,600 in total.

The station has undergone a number of improvements in the past five years, including a new parking garage, a covered walkway to the station building and a multi-million dollar fully enclosed pedestrian bridge that connects the station to the Pickering Town Centre. And did we mention a 28-minute express train to Union Station?

Toronto Zoo

Just 10 minutes from Pickering, Canada’s largest zoo is home to over 5,000 animals. Six miles of paved walking trails wind through award-winning indoor and outdoor exhibits separated into geographical regions, such as the African Rainforest and Savanna and Eurasia.

The Discovery Zone, sure to be a hit with the kids, encompasses a children’s wildlife experience area, a two-acre water play area and a theatre featuring animal-themed shows.

Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre

The legacy of the recent PanAm Games, this state of the art sports centre is a quick 10-minutes from The Altona Towns. It’s a great opportunity to stay active and healthy thanks to a range of recreational and sports activities.

The Sports Centre houses a 200-meter indoor track, fitness centre with separate cardio and strength studio, climbing wall and two pools used for classes and leisure swim. After you’ve worked up a healthy appetite, pop into the Food Court for a healthy lunch or fresh juice or smoothie.

Thinking about calling The Altona Towns home? Get our plans package complete with prices and room dimensions and love your life in Pickering!