Meredith Stannard is a 66-year-old woman who retired earlier this year. She and her partner, Elyse Zandonella, 69, had downsized into a tiny house and her former co-workers were dying to see the couple’s home. People were super curious to see how this couple lived in such a small space.
Stannard told news reports, “Everybody was curious. I started doing these happy hours where I’d have one or two people over at a time. There’s a lot of buzz with people wondering if they could do this too.” But there’s also another reason why people wanted to see this home.
According to goodhousekeeping.com, last November, the couple decided to move into an adorable 613-square-foot cottage in their daughter’s backyard in West Seattle. Their daughter Drew and her husband Jacob originally wanted to build a writing studio for Drew, but this worked out better!
Drew told the site, “When I told friends, their reaction was either, ‘That’s so wonderful, wish I could do that with my family,’ or ‘Oh my god, you’re crazy, I could never do that with my parents.‘”
Both Elyse and Meredith were talking about the future and agreed that once retired, they want to remove their mortgage and be able to live comfortably and travel whenever they pleased.
The idea to live on their daughter’s property first came up about three years ago when Drew and Jacob were buying a house.
But living in your family member’s backyard is actually a trend! A trend is known as the “granny pod” or “mother-in-law cottage”. The homes are usually equipped with features to make aging in place easier.
It’s getting pretty popular for Baby Boomers to live in a home-like this, especially in super-competitive housing markets like Seattle. When Drew and Jacob first bought their home, they thought the property was too small to add another unit.
Then a few years back they had the idea to remove the home’s garage and put a new cottage in its place. But Meredith explained: “Drew’s an only child and we’re very close, very direct with one another, but we wanted to make sure Jacob was absolutely on board”.
But the family has made it work and if anything it has brought the parents and the kids closer together. It also allows both Meredith and Elyse to be close to their grandkids, which makes the whole downsizing aspect totally worth it!
Meredith told Good Housekeeping, “I see lots of Baby Boomers pushing strollers in this neighbourhood. They probably have to commute to push the stroller and we won’t have to!”