In the 1980s, The Golden Girls showed us the fun and companionship that can be found when roommates share their home and their lives. Today, many boomer women are following in their footsteps. Active adult communities, with their low-maintenance homes and resort-style amenities, can provide a perfect setting for single women who prefer to live with a group of friends.
While average lifespans have been lengthening for both sexes, women still have a tendency to outlive men by about five years. This, coupled with an increase in both divorce and women choosing to remain single, has led to a large population of older single women.
While many active adult communities offer smaller homes and condos which are ideal for singles, there are many women who prefer to share their homes with friends or family members. Benefits of house sharing also include more than companionship. Housemates share in both the daily chores and the financial responsibilities. By sharing a home and common areas, such as the kitchen and living room, they often have lower utility bills than they would in individual homes.
There is also an added sense of security that comes from having other people to rely on. There are many ways that women can go about finding others to share a home. Joining together with friends or family members is an obvious solution, but it may not be an available option. There are also cases where some friends might not be your most compatible housemates. Fortunately, there are many resources available to find suitable housemates, including website, books, seminars and local home sharing programs.
The National Shared Housing Resource Center is a great place to start your house sharing research. You can find out more about the benefits and challenges of house sharing, learn about the legal aspects of buying or renting a home together, and even find programs which screen applicants and match them with suitable housemates.
By choosing to live in an active adult community, women can enjoy all the benefits of home sharing along with a variety of social and recreational amenities. Larger communities are often a good choice, as they tend to offer a larger variety of homes and amenities that will appeal to many different interests.
You may also want to look for communities which offer homes designed with dual master bedroom suites, guest suites, casitas or second-story loft bedrooms. A few good examples include the spacious Cambria model at Indian Springs Golf and Country Club; the versatile Vernon Hill model, at Del Webb at Lake Oconee; the open Jacksonville model, at Solivita; and the cozy Begonia model, at Palmetto Cove.
House sharing is not a new concept, but it is a trend that is rising among older adults. Just as young adults often start out with roommates, older singles often prefer to not live alone. Sharing a home in an amenity-rich active adult community further enhances the experience.