Everyone lives in a different way, and some people prefer to live alone, but there are major benefits to living with a home-mate! If you’re on the fence, or unsure if shared housing is the right move for you, let us try to convince you. If you’re already on board, good for you! Sit down, figure out your needs, and begin the home-mate selection process. Otherwise, check out these reasons why we believe in the power of shared housing.
5 Benefits of Shared Housing
There are five main ways that sharing housing can improve your life. Shared housing saves money, provides companionship, offers help in the home, improves sustainability, and lets us live whole and healthy lives. Ask yourself what you’re looking for in a living situation, and see if finding a home-mate is the solution.
1. Saving Money
The number one reason people choose to share housing is to save money. Housing costs are high everywhere! Many people, especially those who live alone, struggle to afford their house or apartment. Sharing a home allows you to cut costs without having to downgrade your living situation. In fact, you might be able to afford a better place with a housemate or two. (link to Nicky and Mary article) Together you can split your rent, mortgage, utility bills, and even groceries. You could easily save $500 a month, that’s $6000 a year! Having roommates to save money is common for young people, but we stress that this can be a solution for all ages, and that sharing housing can be more than just having a roommate. With a little work, you can find someone to build a home with, a real “home-mate”.
The second most common reason people choose to share housing is for companionship. For many people this is the most important reason. Maybe you miss living with a family and want someone to share your feelings with. But a companion doesn’t have to be your BFF either. Maybe you just want someone to have a few jokes with before going your separate ways. Companionship means something different for everybody! Some people are more social than others, but we all benefit from social contact. We start going crazy when left on our own for too long. If you don’t have the time, energy, or network to build a bustling social life outside of the home, having a housemate provides an easy connection. It can make such a difference in your life to share a moment in the kitchen in the morning.
3. Help in the Home
How many tasks around the home do you wish you had help with? With a home-mate you can divide up who takes out the trash and cleans out the fridge. You’ll have someone to water the plants while you’re gone for the weekend, and maybe someone to fix the things you were just going to leave broken. There are so many different ways people help each other maintain a home. We have an endless array of tasks from the unimportant to the life threatening. Your home-mate will provide support and help you do things you couldn’t do alone.
Having a home-mate also gives you support in emergencies. If you get locked out there’s someone else to let you in. If you’re sick, there’s someone to make you soup. All sorts of little accidents and crises could be easily handled if you have a housemate. There are special benefits to think about if you’re a senior sharing housing. Having a home-mate provides safety in a medical emergency, or if you’ve fallen and can’t get up. There’s strength in numbers! Living together can make your life easier and safer
If you’re living alone in a house or an apartment, you might wonder, do I need all this? One of the benefits of shared housing is that you can live more efficiently, and cut down on waste. You’ll be sharing heating, water, maybe even sharing rides. The more things you’re sharing, the more sustainable you’re being! If you’re passionate about the environment, shared housing is a great way to have a lighter impact. And, with less waste you save money
5. Whole Person Health
It is our belief that the entire purpose of human existence is to love. Not in the sexualized and romantic sense of that word but rather in the sense of fellow feeling, or warmth, of caring. The expression of this is practicing kindness and generosity. When we give and when we receive it feels good. People who share housing, who see each other on a daily basis have the opportunity for this flow of giving and receiving. In couples and families it might not even get noticed. When you share a home with a housemate you also have the opportunity to have the gracious exchange of giving and receiving that enlivens us and makes us whole people.
How to Move Forward
We believe shared housing can work for many people, no matter what income bracket, age, sexual orientation, race, or gender. It can solve a variety of problems! But don’t jump in willy-nilly. Finding a good housemate is a project. It takes some thought, some work and certainly talking to people.
The place to start is with yourself. Take time to reflect on your needs and desires. What is it that you’re looking for, what problems are you trying to solve? Can the benefits of shared housing bring improvements into your life? If you’re confident that shared housing is the right move for you, then you’re ready to start the home-mate selection process. Keep your mind open and good luck finding a home-mate that’s good for you!