Apartment bldg or co-housing to share with family/aging parents

Hi - I'm looking for resources and or personal stories/advice on what I'm curious about: trying to provide housing and support to my parents and eventually my generation.  I'm the oldest of six (between us we have 12 kids ages 2-20) in a closely connected but somewhat geographically spread out family.

In a nutshell I'm looking to go somewhere cheaper (not asking for advice about where) and:

  • Buy a four unit apartment building, have one unit for me, one for my Dad, one for my Mom (divorced but very amicable), one to rent out at market rate or for another family member or maybe a care giver eventually.
  • Also have a common living/dining room type space that isn't part of any apartment that can be used for family gatherings
  • Buy in a neighborhood where my siblings and ideally the next generation could afford to rent or buy so as to make a family "hub" for those who are interested

While I'd consider co-housing, I think in terms of preventing family disputes and given everyone's different economic situation my inclination is for me to buy the four unit building and common room/space and let others rent/buy on their own nearby.

I'd love advice or resources to set this up in a way that it's most likely to be successful.  Here are the things I'm worried about:

  • It's easy to have a great relationship with my parents when they live across town. How will we support each other but keep from going crazy if we're neighbors in the same building?
  • How can we structure sharing care/costs for my parents (who have no resources) among my siblings in a way that reduces chances of disputes in future? I'm looking for process suggestions as much as actual models/agreements.
  • How can we plan for my parents eventual decline, and then presumably that of my generation down the road? Are there ways of structuring the physical, financial, or legal arrangement to support interdependence in a way that can change/grow over time?  
  • I'd love to get a sense of what it's really like to care for an aging parent next door - I want to know what I'm going into
  • How can we build a culture or structure that reduces chance of disputes and allows flexibility without being too heavy handed, and without it relying on me to be the one in charge (what happens when I die then...)?
  • How can I know what to plan for in terms of financial/legal matters?

We all get along well.  Two siblings bought a property together in the past and that didn't go well in the end, so I'm especially cautious about that type of arrangement.

My parents are age 70 and 75 in pretty good health, but with some issues. My Dad's Dad lived well into his 90s so we could be looking at another 15-20 years for him with already some concern about memory loss.

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