Five million spare bedrooms.  That’s how many spare rooms there are in Ontario alone, according to a report issued by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis in 2017.

Are some of those spare bedrooms in your home? What are they being used for now? In many cases they still hold your kids’ stuff.  Or maybe they have become storage space for things you know you should get rid of, but don’t have the time or the heart to do it.

Have you ever considered what you are paying every month for this space?  If you have a 2000 sq ft house, and say you’re paying about $2000 per month for your mortgage, taxes, utilities, home insurance, etc.  That works out to $1 per sq ft. A 10 foot x 12 foot bedroom is 120 sq ft; that means you are paying $120 a month for storage space!  And if you have more than one spare bedroom the cost multiplies!

What about if, on the other hand, you decide to bite the bullet and tell your kids to take their stuff and get the help you need to let go of the things you know you should.  Those spare bedrooms can open up a whole new possibility for an enjoyable new way of living!

Home sharing is a growing trend that offers a way for home owners to gain a new source of income, with the added benefit of having someone around the house to share a meal with, to help with the dishes, and to have fun with! It’s all about finding people you like and respect, whose lifestyle is compatible enough that you are comfortable living together.  That’s the definition of a good home-mate developed by Annamarie Pluhar author of the book “Sharing Housing.”

Home sharing is more than just taking in boarders, or starting a bed & breakfast. Sure those two things will increase your income, but they come with a whole lot of work – which you probably don’t want to take on!  A home-mate actually helps with the day-to-day tasks and can even run errands, or mind the house if you would like to go away for a few days.

And if you are someone who wants to make a positive difference in this world, consider the fact that those 5 million spare bedrooms are equal to about 25 years’ worth of affordable housing construction.  How much will that cost taxpayers?  Do you really think the government will be able to build that much housing?  And anyway the need is now – not 25 years from now!

There are lots of good folks in need of affordable housing who could be an ideal home-mate. The average after tax income of a single senior is only about $24,000 per year!  Even if they pay 50% of that for housing (well above what is considered affordable) it’s only $1,000 per month – and it’s impossible to find even a studio apartment for rent that low!

If you’d like to learn more about home sharing, you can find Annamarie Pluhar’s book “Sharing Housing” available for sale on the Golden Girls Canada website (www.goldengirlscanada.ca) . Or you can register via the website for one of my “Golden Solution” workshops, where we explore how YOU like to live, how to find compatible home-mates, and how to create a successful home-sharing experience.

And if you are ready to find a home-mate, become a member of Golden Girls Canada.  As a member you will gain access to details about people who are looking for a home to share.  When you register, there’s lots of space on the profile page to describe your home and your lifestyle, so you will attract only those who have a good chance of being the right fit for you!

I wish you Happy Home-Sharing!

Golden Girls Canada is owned and operated by Golden HomeSharing Connections
Home-mate matching services for older adults by accredited
seniors real estate specialist (SRES) Dorothy Mazeau.

Want to know more?

Tune in to the Zoomer Radio 740AM show “From a Woman’s Perspective” the first Saturday each month and listen to Dorothy talk about housing options!

Invite Dorothy to speak at your next service club, church or social group meeting. Her presentation *An Introduction to Golden Girls Living * offers plenty of food for thought!