Monthly musing from Rebecca Crichton

More than 25 years ago, I wanted to write a book called "Aren't You Too Old to Have a Roommate?" I was in my 40s and had shared my home with a variety of roommates: friends, grown children of friends, friends of friends. Some paid rent, others stayed for free. In those days, before Craig's List, Airbnb, or other on-line services, I posted descriptions on sheets of paper with little pull-off tabs in neighborhood venues -- bookstores, grocery stores, coffee shops. Today, organizations and apps keep springing up that assist in finding compatible house mates who can pay to rent a room, sometimes with reduced fees for helping with the homeowner's needs. I learned a lot about what it means to live with people who are not family. With a few exceptions — the ones that make for good stories — I found the experience of having housemates successful and life-enhancing. And I have learned that the more specific I am about what I want in a housemate, the more likely I am to find someone who meets those criteria. Last month, I went to a presentation, sponsored by the Phinney Neighborhood Association, from a new service aimed at helping people share their homes. Silvernest is a Colorado-based for-profit company that matches homeowners with people seeking a space in someone's home. I suspect it will be on the list of possibilities I'll look into as I consider my next transition from single homeowner to home-sharer or senior community resident. And I was reminded that I'm never too old to have a roommate!

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