Go ahead, make a grandma your new roommate
The money you’ll save doing this won’t get old.
Millennials and boomers could both solve their real estate woes if they agreed to live together, according to a report released Wednesday by real estate site Trulia. Indeed, “in America’s most expensive housing markets millennials struggle to find affordable housing,” the report notes. “Meanwhile, nine in 10 retirement-age baby boomers and older Americans want to stay in their homes even as costs rise.”
Millennials in San Francisco — the most expensive city measured in this study — face an average rent of $3,000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment, while renting a spare bedroom would cost them less than half ($1,185). And there are plenty of spare bedrooms in the city that belong to people 53 and up — more than 22,000 of them to be exact. Here’s how other cities stack up:
|Number of spare bedrooms||Rent on a one-bedroom apartment||Estimated monthly rent for a spare bedroom|
|Los Angeles area||114,731||$1650||$683|
|New York area||117,734||$1800||$932|
|San Francisco area||22,003||$3000||$1185|
|Washington D.C. area||133,685||$1725||$783|
The solution seems simple — boomers should rent out their spare rooms to millennials. “For retired or soon-to-retire boomers, extra rooms are an opportunity to supplement income and offset cost-of-living increases,” the report reveals. Meanwhile, for millennials, “renting a room as opposed to a one-bedroom apartment could save them up to $24,000 annually.”
Many millennials likely turn their noses up at renting from someone their parents or grandparents age, but the benefits are plenty. The older person may have wisdom and life experience they can share with you, Trulia notes. Plus, many older people are less likely to go out late into the night, encouraging unexpected spending. (More than four in 10 millennials go to bars at least once a week versus just 24% of Gen Xers and 19% of boomers.) Many also own the home they are renting and are more likely to take better care of the property.
Jaimyn Chang, 24, says his experience renting a room in an older person’s home in Albany, New York had plenty of advantages. His roommate, who was 45, was “mature,” Chang says — keeping the apartment clean and doing his share of the chores without issue. Plus, “I didn’t have to worry about any small, unnecessary drama,” says Chang, who also got to pick his real estate investor roommate’s brain about the market.
But the biggest perk for Chang was the $12,500 he saved over the 12 months he lived there. He paid $650 for the room, which included all of the utilities, versus $1,200 for his former apartment, which didn’t include utilities. The new apartment also wasn’t near restaurants and bars, so Chang went out less, saving him even more. “This was money that went straight into a savings account that I used to fund my SEO company, BoominAgency.com,” Chang, who recently moved to Austin, says. His take on the whole experience: “This is a topic more people my age need to think about. Great way to save money.”
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