With an extensive background in sociology, I always like to follow social trends that impact various types of owners or buyers of real estate. One of the trends I am seeing more frequently is the practice of unrelated Baby Boomers moving in together. There are many reasons for this taking place. Fixed incomes and inflation’s impact, rising rents, increasing property taxes, divorce, or the loss of a good portion of the Social Security Income when a spouse passes away are a few examples. Another interesting factor that sometimes determines whether unrelated people get married is the loss of benefits if one marries. Some pension benefits disappear, especially for women, if they remarry. To maintain income then, marriage is not an option.
Financial and Social Benefits of Unrelated Individuals Living Together
There are many positive aspects of unrelated individuals either buying a home together, renting rooms to other individuals in a home one owns, or just combining resources to rent a home. Buying a home with a friend gets the individuals into a much nicer home than they could own on their own. Renting out a room or rooms in a big house allows an individual to stay in a large home that they love, but can no longer afford to stay in alone. Finally renting a home together allows for budgets to be more manageable than if renting alone. All of the above can also mean that individuals can stay in a neighborhood/community they know and love.
A major and very important social benefit is the presence of companionship that this brings to individuals. Isolation can be a major factor in life altering factors in terms of one’s physical and mental well-being. Having good companionship at the dinner table, when going to concerts, or just hanging out in the evening, etc. can make for a much happier person. As we age, it is also much safer to have someone in the house if one falls or there is sudden illness that causes one to become incapacitated. A housemate can call 911 when maybe you can’t.
Proceed with Caution
An individual must be very sure of how your new housemate and you will interface together in a common home. Will you be, in a sense, just business partners, or will you be good friends or partners working out life together? A major concern is that I have seen people get blindsided when the co-owner of a home passes away. What will families do if no provision is made for the settlement of a person’s estate when a home is co-owned with an unrelated individual? Specifically I am thinking of a couple who could not get married as per the example I gave above.
There are concerns about getting into various arrangements like this, but if it works out, it can be a real blessing to everyone involved.
We are further seeing trends toward the desire to Age in Place and also multi-generation living situations as well – click here to read my blog on these movements and trends.
I would enjoy helping anyone who is planning to buy a home under these unique circumstances. Let me know if we can help.