Homesharing is a wonderful solution for many people – both homeowners and potential housemates – and offers both groups enormous benefits. Financial freedom, socialization and companionship, security, and even help around the house are all advantages of a home sharing arrangement. In some cases, homesharing can even be an alternative for Canadians looking to age in place rather than having to sell their home and downsize.
The decision and circumstances under which a person decides to home share varies greatly, however when it comes to timing, generally the sooner you do it, the better. Sometimes, people consider home sharing only after a health crisis or emergency. In these cases, the homeowner's needs are usually too great; a personal support worker or home care agency may be a more suitable option. While task exchange homeshare arrangements are a great situation for those who need a little extra help around the home, that help doesn't include nursing and personal care.
Add Homesharing to Your Plans
So, how do you know when you're ready for homesharing? If you're open to the idea and the benefits, then it's a good idea to plan for homesharing down the road. Consider homesharing when you hit some of life's major milestones:
You buy your "forever" home – does the home's layout lend itself to a future home share configuration?
Your children are young – a homeshare arrangement that includes child minding as part of the task exchange may help you reduce your childcare related expenses.
Your child moves out – the extra income earned from home sharing could help you support your child's post-secondary education.
Retirement – homesharing is a great option for retirees, especially snowbirds or those who travel frequently. Making it part of your retirement planning will help your retirement dollars go further.
Your spouse passes away – while it's a difficult conversation to have with your spouse, homesharing offers many benefits to widows and widowers. Early planning before you lose a loved one can make the decision and transition much easier once that loved one is gone.
Sometimes life throws you a curve ball. Ideally, homesharing will become part of your future plans, but in some situations, like a divorce, it can be a great solution to an unexpected crisis. Whether you plan for it or find yourself in a situation where home sharing just makes sense, it's worth considering whether you're ready to share your home. Ask yourself:
Are you open to sharing your living space?
Are you willing to invest the time to find the right housemate?
Are you clear on your expectations around home sharing? This is important! To communicate what you're looking for in a home share arrangement you need to first be clear on what you do and do not want the arrangement to look like.
Are you willing to modify your home or your home's décor?
Whether you're ready for homesharing now or are interested in planning for a future that includes this lifestyle, give the team at HomeShare Alliance a call. We'll be happy to answer your questions and help you navigate the world of homesharing.