With more than twenty years since the last episode of the Golden Girls, the idea of homesharing is still trendy
Decades after saying goodbye to college roommates, some older adults are again opting to share their homes. Many older Americans with a spare room to rent are recognizing the benefits of homesharing and opting to provide a place to live in exchange for rent, companionship or household services.
Though not ideal for everyone, homesharing has proven to be an excellent solution for a growing number of aging adults who want to maintain their independence and stay in their homes as long as possible.
The National Center for Family and Marriage Research estimates that one out of three baby boomers likely will face old age without a spouse. Four million women older than 50 already live in households with at least two 50-plus women and that number is expected to rise.
Homesharing is not limited to a particular age group, but the arrangement provides numerous important benefits for senior home providers.
• Financial stability. For someone living on a fixed income, even a small rental income can mean the difference between money troubles and financial security. And since cash-strapped seniors often are the target of home equity scam artists, some additional income could be the best protection against a predator.
• Help around the house. In lieu of rent, seniors can instead request services. For example, someone who no longer can drive might offer reduced rent in exchange for rides to medical appointments or ask the renter to do grocery shopping, laundry, or yard work.
• Companionship. Of course, for some older adults—and their adult children—the greatest benefit of homesharing is the potential of friendship and peace of mind. Research has routinely showed that as you age, both the importance of social connections and the dangers of isolation increase. Much more than traditional roommate referral services, match-up coordinators for homesharing programs get to know the home provider and the home seeker individually so they can tailor every match to meet the needs of both participants. As part of the process, coordinators typically meet with the applicants, visit the home, check references, introduce prospective roommates, negotiate the written homeshare agreement and mediate if a problem arises.
While homesharing can provide great rewards, the arrangement is not without its challenges. Though the person moving into the home will have a private bedroom, the home provider and the roommate might have to share a bathroom, and they certainly will share use of communal areas such as the kitchen, living room, and laundry.
Looking to purchase a home to share? Contact our home loan specialists.
NMLS ID# 211808, CCCU ID# 192480
NMLS ID# 138785, CCCU ID# 192480
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