Ready to make a shift?
Are you exploring the idea of having a shared housemate?
You can shift to living differently. Not alone. Without leaving home. You can have community and belonging. You can ease your financial burden (or have extra “play” money).
Maybe you’ve been thinking you should downsize—sell your home and move to smaller quarters. But you don’t want to leave your home. You, like so many people, want to remain in your home and age-in-place. We think that a really great way to do that is to share housing.
We believe you can have a comfortable shared home when you follow our guidance.
We’re here to help you transition from living alone to living with one (or more) people with whom you have an easy, comfortable relationship. You like and respect each other and you’ve agreed to live under the same roof for all the good reasons there are for sharing housing.
What does it take to SHIFT?
Some people dismiss the idea of living with others as too risky. The two biggest fears we have heard are of losing privacy and getting a nightmare housemate. So yes, it’s different but housemates always have privacy in the space(s) that they call their own. What is gained is connection and community. And over time with a compatible housemate what was once “my privacy” becomes “our way of ensuring comfort, safety and financial security.”
The bad housemate is a real issue. That is why we have an online video series to teach you how to recognize who will be a good fit for you and where the red flags are. We also explain how to trust your gut!
When you follow our process, you will
- clarify what you want and don’t want in your home,
- be able to interview with specific categories, and
- trust both your wisdom and how the universe might be helping you,
you will be able to develop and maintain a comfortable housemate relationship rewarding for all concerned.
This fall, I received an email from a friend asking if I could provide emergency housing to a grad student from UMass. Within two weeks I had interviewed the student, cleared out a spare bedroom, and negotiated 12-month agreement for home sharing; he moved in on September 3.
We have now shared my house for a month, and both he and I agree that it is going very well. He is a cat lover, and my cat Socks likes him very much.
Thank you for giving me a good set of tools for sorting out my own feelings, needs, and wants around the possibility of sharing my home.Joanna – South Hadley, MA
What can SHIFT do for you?
Having a compatible housemate offers so many benefits.
- Reduced housing costs
- Mutual Support
- Living Sustainably
- Whole Person Health
In a nutshell, research and real life shows it’s healthy to live with people.
SHIFT is for Windham and Windsor County Homeowners Only*
SHIFT is designed to support you in making the change from alone to a shared home. What we won’t do is find you your housemate. That’s work you will have to do! But we will teach you how to do it and will support your independent effort.
Here’s how SHIFT works.
Phase 1. LEARN
Through SHIFT you will immediately have access to our two online classes, 5 Key Benefits of Shared Housing and Sharing Housing 101.
5 Key Benefits of Shared Housing This free 30-minute, seven-lesson video instruction explains why shared housing is a good idea. It’s always free; you can take it without signing up for the SHIFT program. You can learn more about the course here.
Sharing Housing 101 Our 45-minute, ten-lesson video class that teaches you how to do a housemate search – from getting clear on what you need and want in a housemate through interviewing and reference checks. As a participant in SHIFT, this course is free. You can learn more about the course here.
After completing both classes, you are eligible for a free consultation in your home to learn how you can adapt it to make home sharing more comfortable.
Our home sharing expert will visit your home, learn your concerns and explore options with you. They might be construction-related, such as adding a door or moving a wall. They could involve clearing out space for a future housemate or buying a bigger refrigerator. At the end of the consultation, you will have a better understanding of how to adapt your home.
Phase 2. ACT
Adapt your home following suggestions from the consult. You make your own arrangements to get the help you need, whether it’s a carpenter, an “stuff” organizer, an appliance store, or another professional.
Concurrently you can start your housemate search process by creating your announcement. We will happily provide feedback on that if you want.
You Interview potential housemates following the process you learned in Sharing Housing 101.
When you have selected a housemate, you both sign your home share agreement.
Phase 3. ENJOY
Bring your signed agreement! We will reimburse you up to $500 for costs associated with adapting your home. (SHIFT is a pilot program and our funds are limited. First come, first served.) We will also witness your agreement which entitles you to omit your housemates’ income on your Homestead Declaration.
We will support you. One week after move-in day we will check in on how it’s going. We will check in when your probation period is coming to its end. And we will check in at 6 months.
* If you’d like SHIFT to be available where you live please contact us and let us know!
Ready to sign up?
Fill out the form below to get started.
Note: If you are already registered on this website please use this link to log in and sign up for SHIFT.