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Know what you want

May 02, 2017
Carol and Cindy by John Lazenby

What to expect and where to budge. That's how we would summarize the following, an excerpt written by Monica Steinisch. Monica is a former Certified Consumer Credit Counselor and certified housing counselor who specializes in personal finance and consumer education. 

Monica writes, "Although the home provider plays the role of landlord... both should enter the program with an equally strong commitment to making the match work.

Here are some tips for improving your chances for a successful match:

Know what you want. A home seeker who doesn't want to share a bathroom shouldn't accept a match in a one-bathroom home. Likewise, if you're a home provider and you want some daytime companionship, a housemate who works full-time during the day won't be right for you. Before you complete your application, think about what you need and want.

Be honest. This is one time when there's no benefit in hiding your flaws: Candor is key when looking for a housemate. So, if you tend to be messy, or have some other less-than-attractive habit or trait, say so. Your housemate will find out eventually, and being upfront about any issues will help you avoid problems after the move-in.

Be flexible. Focus on what you are getting out of the homeshare arrangement -- rent, services, a low-cost place to live, companionship -- rather than minor inconveniences or annoyances. Whenever possible, try to accommodate the needs of your housemate.

Have realistic expectations. Though you may develop a close relationship with your housemate, don't assume from the start that he or she will become like a son or daughter or a parent to you. And don't expect the relationship to go smoothly all the time. Homeshare program coordinators say that even happy housemates sometimes have disputes.

Be patient. It can take weeks or even months to find a compatible match. A good match is worth the wait. Some programs encourage prospective housemates to live together for a week or so to see if they are compatible before finalizing the match.

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The full article can be found here.