House sharing in your 30s and 40s
Midlife crisis or common sense? Share house could be the answer
Once upon a time, sharing a flat or a share house was something that you did in your youth – between leaving the family home and getting hitched. But with soaring house prices, more and more mature people are choosing to share whitegoods with a person or people they are not related to.
In fact, according to the Guardian, as many as 1 in 8 people renting rooms in the UK are in their 40s.
So, whether you are taking in tenants to help your own mortgage, or renting with a group of other professionals, you are not alone.
Priced out of the market
A study from the University of New South Wales City Futures’ Research Centre has shown that the average house buyer has been priced out of about 75 per cent of Sydney suburbs – and there are no “affordable” suburbs within 10 kilometres of the CBD.
The report goes on to state “All of this means that … home ownership (certainly for anything more than a small apartment) within 20km of Sydney’s CBD is likely to almost entirely vanish.”
While this is just for one major international city, evidence is mounting that this is the case worldwide. In the UK, research carried out my rightmove.com.uk showed that 17% of first time buyers are now 40 or over. It also found that 27% of people who consider themselves to be “trapped renters” (want to buy, but can’t afford to for at least a year) were older than 40.
In Indian cities, the situation is even worse, with affordable housing out of the reach of most people.
What all this boils down to is that shared accommodation may well be your only housing option, even as you reach middle age.
And the good news is that as you get older, sharing a house or a flat doesn’t mean all-night parties and finding strangers in the kitchen in the morning. It can be a meeting of like-minds and a chance to expand your horizons.
What are the pros of sharing in your 30s and 40s?
Going back to sharing a house as you mature (or perhaps you have never left share accommodation) can feel a bit like failure. You may be used to living alone, or sharing with a loved one. And sometimes a return to sharing coincide with tough times – divorce, death or financial hardship. And it may seem like an admission that you are destined to be paying the single supplement on any future travel plans.
But while it may seem on the face of it, there are only cons to sharing accommodation well into middle age, if you happen to be one of the thousands of mature people forced out of the housing market, or forced to share to pay a mortgage it pays to consider the pros:
- Enjoying companionship without the emotional baggage
- Expanding your social network through your flatmates’ friends
- Someone else who can clean the bathroom/cook a meal/do the vacuuming
- Having more disposable income as you’re not sinking all your spare cash into a mortgage
- Learning new things (maybe your flatmate is a dab hand at Indian cooking or can speak a foreign language)
Living in a share house as a mature adult can be about living in harmony, enjoying the odd meal together and sharing triumphs and tragedies.
Accommodation websites such as flatmate.com can help you in your quest to find professional adult flatmates who complement (and compliment) you and your lifestyle.
Over to you
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