'Homesharing' Trend Picks Up Steam

Leave it to the Baby Boomer generation to transform an old idea into a new trend. In this case, taking in a roommate to help make ends meet. Deerfield, Ill., Patch tells us about the rise in "homesharing," particularly in affluent communities, and talks to a self-described "professional matchmaker" who connects homeowners in need of a little extra income with renters looking for affordable digs.

Like many struggling during these hard economic times, one Highland Park homeowner was having difficulties paying her bills.

"I needed some additional income," said Helen, who did not want her last name included for privacy reasons. So the interior decorator decided to cash in on one of her assets that was paid for: her home.
"I had the availability of two bedrooms," she said. "I thought it would be ideal to have someone living in those bedrooms."

Helen decided to buy into the idea of homesharing and looked to the Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs for help. North Suburban Homesharing is a free service provided by the center, which is funded by area municipalities, including West Deerfield Township.

Back in June, Coldwell Banker Real Estate identified Deerfield as one of top 10 most expensive markets in Illinois to live in. Click here to read that story.

"It started where it was mostly elderly people living on fixed incomes that needed to rent out a room to supplement their income or they were frail and needed help in the house. So they would offer a lower rent to somebody that would help," homesharing coordinator Jackie Grossmann explained.

"But now it's really moved to boomers, who have lost [their] savings," she said.

Deerfield Patch has the full story.

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