The San Francisco Bay Area is a desirable place to live, to say the least. Its natural beauty and thriving job market attract people from around the world. But with all the migration to the Bay comes a well-publicized housing crisis. One study recently proclaimed San Francisco's the highest rents on the planet. Single-family homes are selling for an average $1.35 million, and paying $3,500/month in rent is the norm. So what can be done? And is the solution right under our noses?
Why We’re Flocking to the Bay
The Bay Area is flush with amazing cities and easy access to nature. With the cultural hub of San Francisco, politically liberal and quaint Berkeley, an up-and-coming business scene in laid-back Oakland, or the tech haven of Silicon Valley, there are a variety of urban environments to engage in no matter your lifestyle.
People tend to be friendly. The weather is perfect most of the year. If you enjoy spending time in nature, the Bay Area is surrounded by rolling hills within easy reach of both hiking trails and stunning coastline. If the bigger mountains are calling your name, the Sierra range is not too far either.
But it’s tough to enjoy any of these benefits when affordable housing is such a challenge. Bay Area residents spend hours commuting because they simply can’t afford to live close to where they work.
Homesharing: Why Didn’t I Think of That?
From Marin to Contra Costa to San Mateo, Bay Area dwellers could be taking advantage of a solution to skyrocketing housing costs: homesharing. By renting out space in their homes, homeowners can earn an average $10,000/year and renters can save over $9,000/year versus market rent rates. Many Bay Area homeowners, especially in the 55+ crowd, are finding it harder and harder to stay in their homes, and bringing on a renter who is willing to provide light help around the house in exchange for reduced rent can prolong their ability to age in place.
Unlike traditional rental channels, homesharing through Silvernest is about finding a housemate based on compatibility, and doing it in a secure environment. That doesn’t necessarily mean becoming best friends with your housemate (although that does happen)—it means creating a living arrangement that works best for you, financially and interpersonally.
“I have great relationships with the two women I live with. We're all of a similar age range, and enjoy sharing a home. It's so much more fun than living alone, and it's also been a blessing financially. I started my search on Craigslist, which ended up being a nightmare—but then found Silvernest! I love that Silvernest offers a two-way, cautious and security-driven vetting process. It made finding compatible housemates much easier.”
- Julie, age 56, Silicon Valley, CA
“Finding our father a housemate through Silvernest has been a relief for all of us, and like a breath of fresh air. My sister and I feel really lucky to have found someone who wants to develop an amiable and real connection with our dad. For him it's an opportunity to make a new friend, and broaden his perspective or world view. As housemates, the two of them sometimes share meals and run errands together. It turns out the companionship that homesharing provides him is as important as the extra income.”
- Cathryn, daughter of a 91-year-old Silvernester
If you live in the Bay Area or know someone who does, encourage them to explore homesharing with Silvernest.
What's the most outlandish Bay Area housing story you've heard? Let us know in the comments!
Image credit: Prayitno on Flickr