Manahawkin, N.J.–Given the challenging economic climate, residential relocations involving offspring moving back in with their parents or parents doubling up with their children to help pay the mortgage come as no surprise. However, in New Jersey, the cohabitation among generations has expanded in scope to encompass multiple generations, according to BD Movers, a two-decade-old moving firm based in Manahawkin, N.J.
A grand total of 25 percent of BD Movers’ business in 2010 and early 2011 involved relocations resulting in multi-generational households. “We noticed that more family members were requesting estimates and it wasn’t the typical; it wasn’t just mom and daughter,” Tony Baumer, president of BD Movers, tells MHN. Baumer is also a board member of the New Jersey Warehousemen & Moving Association. “So many combinations of families are moving in with family. It makes more sense because, now, they have three or four incomes to pay the mortgage.” While most of the firm’s activity has involved single-family homes, some of these moves have taken place at condominium and apartment locations.
Baumer points out that, as per a 2010 study by The Pew Research Center, the 49 million multi-generational households continue to increase in the United States, due to economic necessity. In New Jersey, that economic necessity is based on more than the recession. He cites a report by The Tax Foundation that confirms that New Jersey has the highest taxes in the country, a distinction the state has held for the last three years.
So, while BD Movers was accustomed to relocating a few aging parents to their children’s homes a few years ago, the firm is now seeing boomerang kids going back to their baby-boomer parents and their grandparents joining the crowd. In addition to sky-high taxes, a host of other motivators is spurring change in household characteristics in New Jersey. The housing foreclosure crisis has not abated, and senior citizens continue to downsize. And then there’s the employment issue.
The lackluster jobs market continues to provide pink slips and shut out youngsters hoping to enter the workforce. “In New Jersey, there are a lot of lower-paying jobs; the higher paying ones really aren’t accessible,” Baumer says. Many depend on construction work, and that has dried up. There are more ‘have-nots’ than ‘haves’, so they’re coming up with ways to combine households.”