'Homesharing' Trend Picks Up Steam

Leave it to the Baby Boomer generation to transform an old idea into a new trend. In this case, taking in a roommate to help make ends meet. Deerfield, Ill., Patch tells us about the rise in "homesharing," particularly in affluent communities, and talks to a self-described "professional matchmaker" who connects homeowners in need of a little extra income with renters looking for affordable digs.

Like many struggling during these hard economic times, one Highland Park homeowner was having difficulties paying her bills.

"I needed some additional income," said Helen, who did not want her last name included for privacy reasons. So the interior decorator decided to cash in on one of her assets that was paid for: her home.

"I had the availability of two bedrooms," she said. "I thought it would be ideal to have someone living in those bedrooms."

Helen decided to buy into the idea of homesharing and looked to the Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs for help. North Suburban Homesharing is a free service provided by the center, which is funded by area municipalities, including West Deerfield Township.

Back in June, Coldwell Banker Real Estate identified Deerfield as one of top 10 most expensive markets in Illinois to live in. Click here to read that story.

"It started where it was mostly elderly people living on fixed incomes that needed to rent out a room to supplement their income or they were frail and needed help in the house. So they would offer a lower rent to somebody that would help," homesharing coordinator Jackie Grossmann explained.

"But now it's really moved to boomers, who have lost [their] savings," she said.

Deerfield Patch has the full story.

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this makes a lot of sense and I wonder why more families aren't doing this given the hard economy. My inlaws (brother inlaw and his wife and kids) had major money issues about a year ago and they ended up moving into my mother in law's house because she had the most spare rooms. It was a brilliant arrangement because the older person benefits from not living alone and had her grandsons to help with things. The limited income they had combined with the limited social security she had benefited all of them. And rather than be homeless when you can't afford a home you would think more people would consider sharing a house between 2 families. might be tight but it's better than the alternatives. the last two generations have become so entitled to having their own "3 bdrm house with garage and yard" as if that's the only way to live. learn survival mentality people. I can think of some advantages to sharing a house.

July 20 2011 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply