Roommates can help pay the rent or mortgage. They can share the chores. Best of all, roommates can help keep each other socially active and healthy during a major life change.
The new house sharing trend
It may seem like a strange living situation, but you will be in good company if you go this route. Conditions are ripe to make this arrangement a realistic option for many. Living longer, rising housing and health care costs, and feeling safer with someone else in the house are all benefits of having a roommate. The option to age at home without feeling isolated is also an attractive reason to share housing. Annamarie Pluhar, a shared-housing consultant and author of Sharing Housing: A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates says, “Having someone say, ‘How is your day?’ and having a social connection feeds the soul.”
In 2017, nearly 79 million adults (31.9% of the adult population) lived in a shared household – that is, a household with at least one “extra adult” who is not the household head, the spouse or unmarried partner of the head, or an 18- to 24-year-old student. In 1995, the earliest year with comparable data, 55 million adults (28.8%) lived in a shared household.
How to find the right roommate
- Does she meet your requirements about what you must have in a housemate? Examples: a productive life, considerate and flexible, good values, a realistic vision of what living together entails, common expectations about the arrangement.
- What are deal breakers for you? A boyfriend who will be sleeping over a lot? A pet? Someone who is messy or doesn’t have boundaries? Something else?
- Is she financially stable?
- What do her references say? If she’s home-shared before, what do her housemates think of her? Get at least two references. Ask about her strengths and weaknesses and if there’s anything you should know.
- Lastly, have you done an internet search on her name to learn more about her?
Middle aged roommates
A roommate situation may be a good option for you if you need to share expenses, want company, or both. Doing so my allow you to live in a nicer space and perhaps create a new and lasting friendship. Have you tried it? Would you be willing to consider this type of living situation? We’d love to hear from you!
A version of this article appeared in NextAvenue.com