There are so many benefits of homesharing, which is why it's becoming a popular living option for Canadians. Whether it’s companionship, extra help around the house, or added income – homesharing is a great option for so many different types of homeowners. Having said that, it takes some planning got get your home ready for home sharing. Here are some considerations to help you best prepare your home.
1. Ask yourself if you're emotionally ready
Homesharing makes sense on paper, and logically there are so many benefits. Are you emotionally ready to share your space with a housemate? This is a question that only you can answer. Imagine what life will be like, how you'll feel about having another person around on a regular basis.
2. Consider expenses and income
Even if earning extra income isn't your primary reason for homesharing, considering finances is a necessary first step. Start by looking at your current household expenses – everything from hydro to property taxes. Will any of those expenses increase when you add another person to your household? Estimate the increase and ensure that the rent you ask for will cover that, plus anything else you need.
When it comes to rent, it would be nice if you could simply ask for whatever amount you want, but the reality is that the market dictates rent in your area. Do some research and see what other comparable rentals are going for – a studio apartment, or one-bedroom with parking, for example.
The team at HomeShare Alliance can help you determine a fair rental price for your home share.
3. Divide up the space
The first step of preparing your house for homesharing is deciding which space will be yours, which space will be theirs and which space will be common and shared. Remember to set aside storage space for your housemate, too. Pre-determining this is important as you'll want to focus the photographs you take to advertise your home on the areas the housemate will use.
This clarity also ensures you and your housemate are both clear on which are private and shared spaces in the home. Separate areas within the home allows everyone to enjoy adequate privacy while also allowing everyone to get comfortable in common spaces right from the start.
4. Do a walk through
It's a great idea to invite a family member or friend to walk through your property, looking for areas that are cluttered or may need a refresh. They may also have new ideas about how you can easily spruce up your place – a coat of paint or new curtains may go a long way in making your home feel warm and inviting.
5. Spring clean
Taking some time to spring clean your home will not go to waste. This will create a fresh and welcoming environment which will help you stage the home for photos and potential housemate tours.
Spring cleaning will also give you an opportunity to declutter. Adding more people to a space means more stuff! Clear out space in your kitchen cupboards and fridge now so you can adjust to using less space. Getting rid of or storing some of your unneeded possessions will help create more room and make your new housemate feel like you have created space for them and their belongings, which will go a long way in strengthening a sense of comradery. It will also help you energetically and emotionally prepare your space for homesharing.
6. Determine what furniture is needed
It's important to consider whether you will supply the furniture or if your housemate will have room to bring in their own furniture. Consider having a discussion with your new house mate to see what they need. If they are supplying their own furniture you may want to consider a storage option for anything you need to remove. If they don't have their own furniture, maybe you will have some things they need, and you can work out an arrangement that works for both of you in which they can use those pieces.
7. Discuss Logistics
Prior to having your new housemate move in you should consider and discuss any logistics such as the cost of rent, household expectations and inclusions such as laundry or parking. This avoids any surprises and ensures that everyone is on the same page when it comes time to draft the HomeShare Agreement. Pre-determining logistics also helps make for a smooth transition.
8. Special Touches
It can be an awkward transition for someone to move into someone else’s space. Help put your housemate at ease with some special touches. This could be a night out to get to know each other better or a welcome basket to put in their room full of fun and thoughtful things!
Looking for more information about sharing your home? At HomeShare Alliance, we’re here to help. Take a look at our other blogs or book an appointment for guidance!