As the COVID-19 lockdown continues across the country, many homeowners are looking for ways to supplement their income, especially those faced with employment uncertainty. At the same time, many vulnerable seniors are isolated by themselves at home and they're feeling the social and mental effects. Homesharing is a wonderful solution to both these problems!
A homeshare can maximize the value of a person's home, while also offering regular, social interaction that's so critical to everyone's mental health and wellbeing. At the moment, social distancing restricts the ability to enter a new homeshare arrangement, so instead use this time to make your home more conducive for homesharing. That way, when the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, you'll be ready to enter the world of homesharing!
1. Does Your Home Lend Itself to a Separate Apartment?
Turning an unused basement or upper level of a home into a separate apartment is a great way to maximize your home's income potential. A separate apartment will need:
Separate entryway with lock
To meet all fire and safety regulations in your local community.
A separate apartment is not necessary for a homeshare, so if your existing home doesn't lend itself to this configuration, don't worry! You can likely make it work by considering the tips below.
2. Does Your Home Offer Enough Privacy?
Privacy is important to a housemate. In addition to having a private bedroom, ideally, your home will have a separate bathroom with shower solely for your housemate to use. Just having a spare bathroom may not be enough. Consider the layout and configuration of your home. Is the bathroom close enough to the bedroom to make your housemate feel comfortable?
It's a benefit to offer a private living area and office, as well. Also, think about the location of your laundry room; is it a space that another person would be comfortable using? Consider how you could configure your home to offer more private spaces and to ensure that shared spaces will be appealing.
3. Will Your Kitchen Accommodate Two Cooks?
Think back to The Golden Girls, which is the classic example of homesharing. If you've watched the show, you'll know that the kitchen is where The Golden Girls spent most of their time. That's because it was large, bright, had multiple entry points, and could accommodate more than one cook! Consider upgrading your kitchen if it's outdated and remember to update appliances. For example, is your refrigerator large enough to store separate food items for two people?
Having a double garage or two-car driveway is a huge benefit for a homeshare. If your driveway is long and thin, is there any way to widen it? This may be a great investment, especially when you consider the nuisance involved with having to move vehicles. If you live in an urban center with permitted street parking, then you'll want to contact the city ahead of time to determine the cost of another parking permit and then work that cost into your homeshare agreement.
5. Bright, Clean and Clutter-Free
Homes that are bright, clean and clutter-free are much more attractive to potential housemates. Now is a great time to de-clutter and do some spring cleaning! You'll want to be able to offer a separate storage space to a potential housemate, so keep that in mind as you're de-cluttering.
Also, look at your home décor critically, from the point of view of someone else. Is it too dark or personalized? You may want to consider painting your home a bright, neutral colour and moving any décor items with special meaning to your bedroom or private area.
Taking advantage of the time you have during this period of isolation will allow you to make relatively small changes that will maximize the income potential for your home share space. A little work now will mean that you'll be ready to enter into a homeshare agreement once the self-isolation restrictions are lifted. Not sure what to do to get started? Give the team at HomeShare Alliance a call. We're offering online interviews and free phone consultations to answer any questions you may have about home sharing. As a non-essential service, we're not able to support new home shares at this time, but we remain available to offer our advice, so please reach out to us with any questions you may have.