Growing numbers of boomers and empty nesters are joining the sharing economy by renting spare bedrooms for extra cash. A single room can bring in as much a part time job—and is so much easier. But how do you find the right person to share your home with?
Six Tips for Finding a Compatible Roommate
1. Get peace of mind with a background check.
While you may be a good judge of character, requesting a background check is the best way to ensure your match is right for you. Silvernest handles all the details, so all you need to do is make the request.
2. Follow up on references.
You can learn a lot about someone by calling their references. You may discover personal styles or habits that are (or are not) compatible with yours. It’s easy to cover your bases by talking to those who know your potential housemate before signing a lease.
Start by chatting online or emailing. If you want to continue the conversation, have a phone call. Use it as a chance to ask more questions and get a sense of the other person.
4. Meet in person.
If you are feeling good about your match, after connecting via chat and phone, set up a time to have coffee, or go for a walk in a neutral place. Surprisingly, walking can stimulate a more spontaneous and intimate conversation than just sitting. Ask a couple of personal questions that generate thoughtful answers like, “What was the best moment in your life and the worst moment in your life?” Try to get a feel for who they really are and not just their day to day habits.
5. Be open-minded.
Several of our homeowners who have been particularly happy with their roommates report they had to be open to different ages, and types of people. One of our homeowners initially only looked for single women of her same age. After a few frustrating experiences, she decided to expand her criteria; and ended up choosing a young man twenty years younger, who became the best housemate she has ever had.
6. Use your intuition.
Finally, the best barometer you have is your stomach, your gut, your solar plexus – whatever you call that inner compass. Use your intuition to simply quiet your mind, go within and listen for an inner “Yes” or “No.”
Studies show that having a roommate is healthy and positive on so many levels. Reducing social isolation, even just by having someone living in your home, is dramatic. The increased peace of mind, income and camaraderie can add years to your life.
Visit www.silvernest.com to learn more about homesharing and sign up.