Get a room: House shares and room rentals up in down economy
Rooms for rent has been in the news a lot lately, and I know a lot of families here in Portland who choose to offer one or two rooms to a singleton who's willing to help with the mortgage payment, the electric bill, and maybe the gardening or the bike repair. My littler sister has shared a room in a family friend's home for several years, and been through all the ups and downs.
I've discovered, in my experience with house share situations, that it's important to very clearly set expectations ahead of time; whether you will share the food expenses, who can use the kitchen, when; what the rules are about cleaning up after oneself in common areas; how comfortable you feel about leaving the bathroom door unlocked; what exactly is going to be charged for rent and utilities (a flat dollar amount? a percentage?); whether the phone/internet/leftovers are on- or off-limits. What about in your town? Have you rented a room, or are you thinking about it? Any tips to share?