Living with the family

A look at Devon Property with Nigel Bishop

Living with the family


Life apparently is cyclical! Generations of a family living together under one roof was quite usual until the mid 20th century. Then came the post war age of freedom. Young people fled the nest at the earliest opportunity. A time of baby boomers whose generation have perhaps benefitted most from the surge in property values leaving the next generation struggling to even get on the ladder.  As those baby boomers are living longer than previous generations  some are passing capital to their children to assist them on to the property ladder but for many the option is to create a multi- generational home.

Not easy for generations to live under one roof -grandma’s tea party isn’t in the same league as teenager’s music lead casual get-togethers. Combine the current eye watering costs of stamp duty and economic uncertainty it’s no wonder families look at alternative ways of housing a generational family. So, by joining forces, combining capital and income, everyone gains by living somewhere each generation might not otherwise achieve independently. Rules and spaces need defining and inevitably there will be differences of opinions and clashes but that’s families!

So, town or country? That is a personal choice but it must work for all generations and all must  respect each others needs.

Middletown Farm, Rose Ash in North Devon is a listed farmhouse sitting in 17 acres. The five bedroom farmhouse has a large family kitchen living space that everyone dictates as a necessity. Attached is a self -contained one bedroom annexe. Also offered as a separate lot with 6 acres is a barn with planning permission for conversion to a two bedroom home., Set away from the main house this is ideal for extended family being close - but not too close - maybe noisy teenagers! Strutt and Parker- 01392 215631.

Yetson House, Ashpringtom near Totnes is a classic Grade 11 Georgian village house, exquisitely restored, standing in 8 acres including walled gardens, swimming pool, vineyard. The period five bedroom house is complimented by a four bedroom barn and further barn offering equally impeccable accommodation. An unusual opportunity in Devon to find such a combination in a favoured village offering seclusion yet within easy access of   amenities including the main line station in Totnes (London Paddington 3 hours). Marchand Petit 01548 857588.

Higher Ash, Blackawton near Dartmouth.  Another beautifully restored farmhouse in perfectly managed gardens. The 4 bedroom house benefits from an integral ground floor fifth bedroom suite ideal for an elderly relative. A substantial stone barn divided into two large 3 bedroom units and currently let on short term holiday lets could easily accommodate extended family in very comfortable surroundings. Offered with an option to buy further agricultural barns with planning under Q class regulations and 22 acres Higher Ash is perfect for a rural lifestyle to suit all the family.  Stags Totnes are joint agents – 01803 865454.

Beating the pressure of individual affordability a joint generational family purchase can be the answer (and be tax efficient!) for everyone to have that special home - - “it’s all about coming home”.


James Nightingall