Homesharing: What Happens Next?

In no particular order, I present some rules which must be made early. They keep everyone happy—at least most of the time. Did we have all these in place beforehand? No. These are the result of our learning curve.

  • Set down ground rules everyone agrees to. Put them in writing and have all parties sign.
  • Decide who is responsible for what
  • Resolve possible parking problems in multi-vehicle households
  • Who pays which bills?
  • Who maintains what and how?
  • How will major repairs / maintenance be paid?
  • Do you want a household account everyone contributes to regularly for maintenance and / or bills?
  • Who washes the windows?
  • Discuss sharing of backyard: family / solitary use, or entertainment use
  • Who cuts the grass, shovels snow, puts in or maintains a garden?
  • Have an exit plan. Be prepared should the unthinkable happen.
  • If something isn’t working, have a monthly meeting on the calendar to air your differences. Can be skipped if no problems are brewing.
  • Never call a meeting in the heat of the moment. Check the calendar for next scheduled date.
  • Take minutes. No-one can argue who agreed / disagreed to what. It’s in writing.

Our two most daunting difficulties have been around parking and unequal heat / air condition distribution between the basement and the main floor.

One last gem I learned from our experiences: it is much easier to start out with tight rules and loosen them, than to tighten loose ones.

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  1. It appears that your relationship with you son in law is not ideal. Was your relationship better before you decided to move into the same house?

  2. It had been good before and after. I had to learn to zip my lip because we lived so close. We’ve come a long way in six years. Multigenerational living is like having a new roomie except you’re sharing the same house not the same space.

  3. Good and informative article that is sure to help others with decisions before the fact.

  4. Wow, what a learning curve for you all. Even though there seem to be some unresolved problems with parking and heating, I say well done! I can only begin to imagine the challenges you have faced.

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