When Nancy MacLean realized she had to move out of her house in Lafayette, Colorado, she was worried. Having cultivated a successful home based business as a piano teacher, most of her students lived in the neighborhood. A lovely, bucolic suburb with literal white picket fences intersecting the front yards, it resembled a true Norman Rockwell painting. With housing at an all time high and inventory an all time low in the area, she knew finding a home nearby would be tough.
With effort and luck, a home came onto the market around the corner from her old house, and she jumped on it. Yet, with the huge expenses, she was going to need a roommate. “I tried everything out there like Roommates and Craig’s List, and quite frankly, I was pretty creeped out!” Nancy laughed. “People wanted to have free rent for personal coaching, and one even said she was an alpha female and wanted my master bedroom!”
After discovering Silvernest, Nancy found it was much easier to review potential candidates and get a sense of who they were and if they may be a match. Eventually, Nancy settled on Boyan Athanassov - a young man half her age, originally from Bulgaria, who moved to Colorado a few months earlier after serving three tours in Afghanistan. An entrepreneur, Boyan is designing custom frame backpacks based on his experience as a marine, and is using part of Nancy’s garage as workspace.
Watching the two of them together, they were indeed an unlikely match. She is a refined and athletic woman in her 60’s, and he is a long haired, super easy-going millennial with a deep voice and shy smile. “It just works,” Nancy shrugged. “I have to say it has been delightful. Boyan doesn’t mind the music in the house, we both like to garden, cook and hike, and since he was new to the area, I was able to point him to some great trails or local concerts.”
Boyan agreed. “It has been great living here and I didn’t have any concerns about living with someone older. I have already lived with guys my age and this seemed easy.” Nancy and Boyan showed me the garden they tended together over the summer, and shared stories of cooking up the super-hot Bulgarian peppers Boyan planted. “As soon as I came near the kitchen my eyes teared up!” Nancy laughed. “But, they were amazing!”
Here are Three Tools Nancy used to help find a compatible housemate:
Have an Open Mind
Initially, Nancy was looking for another single woman her age. “It just didn’t work for me,” she shrugged. “Too many issues; so I decided to broaden out my search and explore others I would not have considered before. If you told me I would have picked someone half my age who served in the military, I would have never believed it!” It turns out intergenerational housemates are often a great fit, bringing a lot of energy and vibrancy to the house, particularly when they share common interests.
Do Your Homework
Nancy connected with nearly 50 people via email, phone or in person - before settling on Boyan as her roommate. “I think it is really important to do your homework before you just let someone move in,” MacLean stressed.
Ask Detailed Questions Before Deciding
Nancy had a list of detailed questions she asked each potential housemate to help her make a decision. “I asked a lot of questions like what kind of hours they keep, if they are ok with my business in the house, neatness and hobbies,” she said. "It was worth it!"
Check out the Boulder Daily Camera story on Nancy and Boyan here.
Silvernest boldly breaks the rules of aging so you can share your home on your own terms. We’re creating the next generation of roommates. A more modern kind. A well-matched kind. A kind that’s just your style. Because around here, the details are totally up to you.