The Nancys were friends for years, part of a birthday group, and when one Nancy was ready to retire asked, “Who is ready to share a house with me?” The other Nancy said, “I am.” The “two Nancys” share a house outside NYC. Paula Span tells their story in her blog at The New York Times. It’s a great example of seniors sharing housing.
Both Nancys was able to each sell their houses. They did this at the height of the real-estate boom. They found a house with a floor plan that allows both to have a bedroom, study, and bathroom. They bought it together, carefully working out the legal arrangements. As one commenter on the blog points out, it is the ideal setup. By moving into a new house, they were able to create their new home together.
Not everyone has the resources to buy a house together when they want to share housing. More commonly, one person has a house that another moves into and pay rent on. One scenario is that the person only moves into a room and the rest of the house is unaltered. While this is easier for the homeowner, it would be hard on the renter. For the renter to feel “at home” it is good to have a say in how the space looks and is arranged. If the potential housemates are both intending that the arrangement be long term, they should work together to recreate the home with both their possessions.
Check out this other article about the decision to share housing; Should I Stay or Should I Go?