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Homeowners Trying Co-Living To Offset Expenses

Co-living among adults and homeowners is a growing trend in today’s sharing economy, and it goes beyond renting out room in a house.

Homeowners Trying Co-Living To Offset Expenses

Sharing your space with someone or "co-living" who isn’t family is an experience most Americans can relate to at some point in their lives. Whether it’s the freshman year dormmate you met on Facebook or a grandparent moving into your home, co-living is a complex situation that requires a lot of planning and communication.

According to a 2021 survey from, recent homebuyers are overwhelmingly open to renting out their home “as a way to generate income and offset expenses. People are getting more creative with what they’re sharing, as well, with everything from pools to parking spaces being split.

As the next generation of homebuyers has embraced ride sharing and short-term rentals, it's a natural next step that they begin to think of their biggest asset—their home—as a potential income stream.

The survey found that 69% of recent homeowners would rent out their home if it had a separate entrance, kitchen, and bathroom, and 32% have already rented out a room, space, or outdoor feature. Most commonly, those renting out their space take on a long-term roommate or rent a room for a short time through platforms like Airbnb. 

“It’s very expensive to be a homeowner,” says Clare Trapasso, executive news editor at “It can be hard to make ends meet right now, and renting out a portion of your home is a way that you can make some extra cash and potentially help pay off your mortgage. With inflation so high, I think people are looking for sort of easier streams of income.”

Home prices broke records in 2020 and 2021: Mortgage payments for a typical U.S. home rose from requiring 27% of median household income in January to 37% in October, surpassing the 30% threshold at which housing becomes a financial burden.

While rates are slowly stabilizing, the cost of buying a home has become a burden many can’t shoulder on their own or with one stream of income. As a more affordable living option, some adults have decided to live with their parents indefinitely, and older homeowners are renting out to students.

Experts at Zillow are predicted that more people aiming to own a home will consider buying with a friend to ease the burden of today’s unaffordable prices. A survey taken last spring found that among recent successful home buyers, 18% had purchased with a friend or relative who wasn’t their spouse or partner. Of prospective home buyers, 19% intended to buy with a friend or relative in the next 12 months. 

If you’re considering renting out your home (or if you’re looking to rent out a space in someone else’s, use these tips as a starting point of how to begin the process, what to look for in a roommate or tenant, and more.

Advice on Co-Living/Renting Out Part of Your Home

Probably the most important step in renting out your home: Make sure you’re following all local ordinances and state laws (aka doing the essential paperwork, filing taxes, and buying the right kind of home insurance). 

When becoming a landlord, utilizing a real estate and property management company to draft your documents helps assure rentals are compliant with the law. You may also want to do some homework by searching for local sample leases online. 

When it comes to figuring out how to price your unit, look at market rates and add a little extra for the additional maintenance that comes with someone else living in your home. And be aware that while it’ll definitely help your financial situation, having a tenant who’s also a roommate won’t cover your entire mortgage.

It’s not necessarily about making a profit or using this as an investment vehicle like it is if you weren’t living there and had an investment property. You need to think very [carefully] about your space and how your space is going to work in a situation where you have like two lives being lived—somewhat together, somewhat separately—but in the same space.



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