If I was starting something from the ground-up, I would start with construction. Most "regular" houses are not made with multiple families in mind. There's one Master bedroom for The Parents, and smaller rooms for The Kids. A multi-family home would probably benefit from different sections, with lockable "wings" of bedrooms and bathrooms for each family, and a shared kitchen, a huge dining room, and probably additional recreation areas for people who want to do different activities. In that kitchen, you'd probably want a huge sectioned pantry, space for at least two refrigerators and probably a stand-alone freezer because stocking up when food's on sale is cheaper, and your primary motivation was cost.
You'd want to run it as an "all included" rental to avoid squabbes over who uses more electricity and water. If you wanted to get fancy, you could use social profiling to match people up according to interests and lifestyle, so that you don't end up with quiet introverts who like to read sharing a house with loud extroverts who want to have parties all the time. Pets vs no pets, families with young children vs child-free professionals, etc.
Then, for more space efficiency, you could put all of this in a shared neighborhood with communal playgrounds and yards. You could probably get the yardwork done by members of the community, as part of the agreement for living there.
Gralson: my husband (works out of town).
Auto: my girlfriend (lives with her husband Zoffee).
The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."
Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 03-23-2014 at 09:18 PM.