Finding affordable housing can be a challenging task for many people these days, whether you are a college student seeking a roommate or a senior citizen looking for a comfortable and secure living arrangement. According to Flex.com, lots of Americans are not only sharing homes…they’re happy with their decision.
- In the United States, 31.9% of households are “doubled up,” meaning the space is shared with at least one adult who isn’t a spouse, romantic partner, or college student. That leaves almost 79 million adults living in a housemate-style situation.
- 18% of all shared households involve non-family members – that works out to 14.4 million Americans living with non-family roommates.
- Overall, 44.8% of renters with one roommate are extremely satisfied with the arrangement. A mere 1.1% list themselves as extremely dissatisfied.
Fortunately, home sharing can be a solution that comes with various benefits. I talked to Tracie Barmann with Sharing Spaces about trends in home sharing and she gave us some insight into how to go about finding a good fit.
Tell us a little bit about Sharing Spaces.
Our slogan is The Better Way to Rent. Our listing platform just relaunched this month (May 2023) and connects landlords, hosts and tenants that are interested in renting a room, furnished unit, or short-term/shared housing rental. Our website allows clients all the tools they need to do it themselves. Over the last year or so I have found that our niche is landlords and hosts that want expert help, that is where our Local Expert program that we are piloting comes in.
What made you decide to get into this field?
The affordable housing shortage and the fact that seniors struggle with loneliness as they age alone.
The cost of housing (and living in general) has risen quite a bit in recent years. How can sharing space help cut costs?
Whether you rent or own, if you have an extra room you can rent it out using our website (or with the help of a licensed real estate professional) or rent from someone else who has extra space in their house. Shared housing can really help increase income and/or cut the costs of living. It also is a great way to travel without the worries of leaving a home vacant for weeks or months; renting a room/property while you travel increases your income and helps out someone else.
What should tenants look for when finding a good fit? How about landlords?
We have a guide that tenants and landlords can use that help with compatibility questions. Our Local Experts can also help clients walk through the steps of finding a good match. When renting a room or property it is very important that landlords screen their tenants properly and have the right rental documents in place before the tenants move in. Our website offers the tools clients need, and expert help is available should clients want a professional.
Home sharing is a possible solution that can offer various benefits, including savings, companionship, and safe living environments for seniors. It can also provide a sense of belonging, especially for people who may otherwise struggle with loneliness and isolation. If this is something you’re considering whether you’re a homeowner or looking for a place to rent, talk to your financial advisor about how those types of decisions might impact your financial plan!
This is being provided for informational purposes only and is not an endorsement by Lincoln Financial Advisors. Sharing Spaces is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Lincoln Financial Advisors is not responsible for and does not guarantee the accuracy of the information or the services provided by Sharing Spaces.