We are moving right along with this homesharing lifestyle and are ready to start searching for our ideal roommate! In previous posts I discussed deal-breakers, and setting up your environment.
There is another reason for homesharing that I haven’t mentioned yet. I’m a diabetic…have been for 25 years. About two years ago, I was a very bad diabetic… wasn’t doing anything I was supposed to do, and I paid for it with very high blood sugar. I laid on the couch and got worst. The roommates were worried, but “I’m fine,” was always my answer. I was too sick to think clearly. They finally called an ambulance and I spent five days in the hospital.
That’s off the subject, but it’s an important story to remember. You want to find someone who will care enough about you to call the ambulance.
Start with your social circles, your church friends, and your cultural, educational, community connections, and bulletin boards. Send out emails and print up a flyer to distribute. Don’t be shy!
Also, register on websites that do roommate matching.
So, let’s get cooking…How do I write an ad?
There are two types of advertisements, i.e, the basic structure, and the creative ad.
We recommend that both ads start with the phrase: “JOIN A GOLDEN GIRLS HOME” in capital letters. This lets everyone know immediately that you are an active mature woman seeking to live like Rose, Dorothy, Blanche, and Sophia.
The structure for a basic ad is this, adjusted for your unique situation:
JOIN A GOLDEN GIRLS HOME in (name of town or neighborhood). Share home with another mature woman. Unfurnished room, private bath, utilities included, small dog OK, no smoking, lease required. (add your email)
We recommend that you enhance this ad with something about you, for instance:
- Share with a retired elementary school teacher
- Share with golf-loving widow in a retirement community
- Share with another cat lover
- Share with a vegetarian
Well, you get the idea. Describe yourself and what you like to do. Give it some personality!
Use this as a style guide:
JOIN A GOLDEN GIRLS HOME in (name of town or neighborhood)! I have an amazing 4-bedroom home and I am looking for three roommates who have a vision of living together in a shared community with autonomy and quiet time but who want to come together for occasional shared meals and activities. I want to live in a home with friends where we all pitch in to make it work. Unfurnished room, private bath, utilities included, no pets, no smoking, lease required. (add your email)
OK, now you have written a great ad, you have put it out to the universe, and the replies have started coming in. How do you handle them? Here are some hints:
Don’t believe everything you read. There will be spam and there will be people who don’t meet your minimum requirements. Ignore these. Never, ever, ever reply to someone who writes from out of state or asks you to reply to a different email address. They are always phony.
If the reply has possibilities, send a reply like this: “I am looking for a woman between the ages of (insert) who is a non-smoker with no pets. In my location, it will be necessary for you to have a car. Please tell me a little more about yourself.” If they respond, you can judge whether the person has met your minimum requirements. If you are still interested, this is when you ask for a phone number and initiate a telephone conversation. (Don’t give your address yet!)
Use the telephone conversation to get to know the applicant. Can you communicate easily? Do you like the personality? Trust your intuition.
If it goes well, invite the person to your home for an interview. If it doesn’t go well, politely tell the applicant that you don’t think this is the right match. You do not have to give a reason.
When you set up the interview, set the date within 2-3 days. After all, you want to make a decision quickly and so does she!
If you don’t feel comfortable interviewing alone, ask a friend to sit in on the interview with you.
Don’t think that you need to interview everyone who contacts you. You are not required to accept anyone who you don’t feel comfortable with. In my experience, about one person out of 15 or 20 responses is someone that I want to interview.
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