The Nest

NestApple's Real Estate Blog

Featuring real estate articles and information to help real estate buyers and sellers. The Nest features writings from Georges Benoliel and other real estate professionals. Georges is the Co-Founder of NestApple and has been working as an active real estate investor for over a decade.

What Is a Mother Daughter House?

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My family is close-knit. Therefore, it is no surprise that I want my mother near me every time. I opted for a “mother-daughter home” instead of reserving a room for my mum or having her livemother daughter house on the same street because of the benefits. You may have encountered the term “mother-daughter house” in real estate. But what is that, exactly?A mother-daughter house is simply a property designed to accommodate multiple generations of a family as senior living. Typically, these homes have separate living spaces for the parents and the kids and shared common areas and family rooms. This is a unique living situation for older adults.

Defining a Mother-Daughter House

A mother-daughter house is an accessory dwelling unit with two separate living spaces within a single structure. Typically, one living space is more extensive and serves as the main living quarters, while the second space is smaller and designed for a loved one. With this setup, I can live with my parents under the same roof without feeling like she is encroaching on my space or my parents are compromising her freedom and privacy.In our mother-daughter house, each living space has its entrance, a separate kitchen, bathroom, and living area, affording us our personal space and privacy. It is much better than an ensuite room for mum in my house because she gets to run her own home, and I also get to run things as I see fit in my space.Proximity enables us to offer each other when needed.The mother-daughter house is the perfect solution to keep my mum close without feeling worn out with her in my space. Her living quarters afford her the independence an adult requires and make it easy for me to care for her. It is also sizeable enough for my mother to manage the space without overwhelming her. 

Pros and cons of having a mother-daughter house

There are both pros and cons to having a mother-daughter house. On the one hand, having a parent or parents around can be incredibly convenient, especially regarding childcare. Similarly, asmother daughter elderly parents, sometimes children can be nearby as caregivers for the parents. Additionally, living close to your family has many emotional benefits, providing support and comfort during difficult times.

However, there are also some potential downsides to having a mother-daughter house. For one thing, living in close quarters may mean you lack some privacy. Plus, when dividing a place between two generations, each generation sacrifices some living space for the greater good of being together.There are many examples in Queens, NY.

Advantages of Living in a Mother-Daughter House

There are so many benefits to having my mother around. Here are a few reasons why I cherish living in a mother-daughter house.


I see my mum whenever I feel like it because she lives next door. The short distance has cemented our relationship because I can hang out with her anytime. We talk over meals, make plans, and schedule around each other.Seeing her within the property daily gives me immense peace because I can confirm she is okay. This adds to our good quality of life.


When traveling, we can rely on each other to protect the house. I also check on my mother to ensure she is physically okay and provide her with any needed assistance because she is old, and I know she feels safer with me close in case she needs help.


My mother and I enjoy the emotional support and fellowship of living under one roof. Our love and trust have grown tremendously because of our shared values. We continue to work on our relationship by perfecting our communication, adjusting expectations, prioritizing empathy, cultivating mutual respect, and respecting boundaries.

Health care & Opportunity to Care

My mother has me by her side all the time, and I am not just her daughter but her friend as well. My presence in her life goes beyond caring for her physical needs; we bond emotionally. Therefore, we provide her with all-rounded care as family caregivers.

How to make mother-daughter housework for you

When two generations live together, bonding and creating lasting memories can be a great opportunity. But it is also essential to set boundaries to avoid conflict.

Before moving in, discuss finances and decide who will be responsible for specific costs. It is also important to set ground rules about personal space and privacy. Once you have established these boundaries, you can enjoy all the benefits of living under one roof.

From sharing meals and conversation to having someone to rely on in times of need, a mother-daughter house can be a wonderful place to call home.

Are permits required for mother-daughters?

In recent years, there has been a trend of local municipalities allowing single-family houses designed to accommodate adult children and their aging parents.

Local zoning boards typically give mother-daughter homes special permits, as the needs of large families are unique and may not necessarily follow a specific set of regulations for a property with a single-family certificate of occupancy (C of O).

The other important thing about mother/daughter situations is that they cannot be rented out. Because legally, the house is a one-family. That’s because the certificate of occupancy¬†for the building classifies it as a single-family dwelling. (If the C of O is for a two- or multi-unit building, the house wouldn’t be referred to as a mother/daughter.)

Different permits may be required for these unique spaces depending on the town or city where these houses are located. Some requirements might include building code regulations, fire safety codes, or driveway regulations.

Regardless of any requirements or conditions, it is clear that local permits are a standard part of creating a compliant mother-daughter house.

What To Do If You Want A Mother-Daughter House

A mother-daughter house is an excellent option for anyone needing to live together with their mother while maintaining some level of independence. However, ensure your relationship with your mother is strong enough to handle the dynamics of living in one property before diving into the deep end.

Written By: Georges Benoliel

Georges has been working in Wall Street for the last 16 years trading derivatives with hedge funds. He has been an active real estate investor for over a decade. Georges graduated from HEC Business School in Paris and holds a master in Finance from ESADE Barcelona.

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