Forging Our Own Path

I’ve spent a lot of time in this blog talking about various aspects of shared housing, including an overview, social interaction benefits, boundaries, new and old types of shared housing and viable sharing housing alternatives.

I’ve devoted serious attention to shared housing (and more on such related topics as co-housing and accessory dwelling units) because as Baby Boomers, we need to define our own future. As is the Baby Boomer way, we need to redefine aging as a time of coming together, not of separation and isolation. Shared housing is one strategy to forging our own path.

So let’s go back to the beginning and talk about how to begin the homesharing process. This week, I’ll examine some of the pre-planning that’s necessary to make sure sharing your home is not only where you age in place, but where you thrive in your Third Chapter Life.

Is Homesharing For Me?

It’s easy to look at the financial benefits, etc., of homesharing. However, it’s interesting to note that most homesharing websites — including the National Shared Housing Resource Center have a different starting point, advising that we ask ourselves a few really basic questions before launching into homesharing:

  1. What are the advantages to sharing my home?
  2. What are the disadvantages?
  3. What would I like to have now that homesharing would help me accomplish?
  4. What would I be sacrificing by sharing my home?

So once you know you want to explore homesharing, what next?

Start the Conversation

Socialize the concept. Talk up the idea with friends, colleagues, relatives and any other folks with whom you can exchange thoughts, experiences and concerns about living with new people. Become familiar with the arguments for and against the idea. Having these intentional conversations will help you to form the model that feels best to you.

Give serious consideration to using the one or two “extra spaces” in your home to host short-term visitors. Platforms like Airbnb make this a viable approach for easing into the concept of homesharing. You may find out that Hosting is a new career! Get a thorough “how to” and training for hosting so you avoid some of the mistakes I made when I started.   

Skeptic Becomes Advocate

We have a housing crisis in this country. It is documented daily in news stories and the personal experiences of just about anyone who goes looking for a new place to live. Our supply does not match the demands in the marketplace.

In addition to downsizing and moving to age-specified communities, Boomers can help the present supply of housing units go further every time unrelated individuals pair-up to share a dwelling unit. Homesharing should be seen as a way of increasing choices and affordability in a community. Rather than discouraging the practice by imposing regulations, community leaders should seek opportunities to promote and facilitate homesharing. Recently, I was delighted and proud as a New Yorker to see a bus stop advertisement for homesharing!

As the learned lessons from Covid-19 keep coming at us, we are looking at many assumptions and ways of doing things in a different manner. Homesharing in all its shapes and forms should be among the tools used in every community to address aging-in-place challenges and affordable housing needs.

Third Chapter Living celebrates, challenges, informs and promotes conversations about housing issues affecting the Baby Boomer Generation. Check out our website to learn more about our work. Our Facebook Group is a resource center with tips and recommendations on navigating those issues. Share experiences with others who are looking for Housing Downsizing Tools that allow them to successfully age-in-place.

1 Comments

  1. Joe on November 29, 2022 at 8:28 pm

    I’m having a problem visualizing short term hosting as a solution to housing vs vacations. Then there’s the unaddressed mixed gender housing solution. Just saying 😏

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