In recent years co-living has gained popularity not only in younger 20’s demographics, but attracting popularity for 50+ Boomer generation. Typically, seniors who opt for the co-living lifestyle as homeowners enjoy additional income from roommates and companionship!
What’s the difference between Co-Living versus Co-Housing?
In co-living people without family ties choose to cohabitate in a single dwelling. Typically, each resident has a private bedroom but other rooms (such as kitchen, laundry room, family room) are considered shared common spaces. In a co-housing community, each individual or family has an independent living unit (single family home, condo or apt) and they might share common facilities such as pools, a library, conference or fitness space.
In the SF Bay Area we know that the lack of affordable housing is difficult as it can hit the senior population hard. As the ‘Silver Tsunami’ and senior households continues to expand over the next two decades, households in their 80’s will be the fastest-growing age group according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Many of those households already face cost burdens.
As the cost of senior communities continue to rise, along with visitation restrictions which COVID19 has placed on family members not being allowed into these senior communities, the desire for multi-generational housing continues to escalate. These are hard questions all families must decided what is important to them. Families are looking for more options as our lifestyle has shifted during these stressful health crisis times our community and family interdependence has become of greater necessity.
What are Co-Living Advantages?
- Sharing household responsibilities can lessen the load and housemates can have complimentary benefits such as one roommate’s ability to drive to the store and another can prep food and cook. This might allow individuals to live independent and active lives.
- Fewer seniors own their own homes these days, more are likely to have a mortgage or even a second mortgage. Co-living can help homeowners afford to stay in their home but creating passive income with rent. Sharing space means dividing up utility costs and home maintenance expenses too.
- Loneliness is one aspect of aging-in-place that co-living can help remedy. A sense of belonging and community can be nurtured with scheduled co-living events such as “Italian Night!” and plan cooking a dinner while playing Italian opera and watch a favorite Italian movie!
Preventing Co-Living Conflicts
Create a written agreement outlining who pays for what and when. Housemates with declining cognitive abilities and/or mobility issues can make living together difficult so a mutually agreed upon rental contract will help avoid co-living conflicts.
Make sure to interview to find the right fit housemate. Look for someone who is financially stable, and shares your interest, values and lifestyle. Always discuss privacy expectations and do consider looking outside an age range. When meeting with a prospective roommate for the first time, always meet in a neutral public location for safety reasons. Get references from previous roommates and consider a background check and credit check; protect oneself.
Consider a trial period and see if all personalities get along! Will pets or habits become irritating after two weeks? Will you need to consider ‘overnight guests’ and does each roommate need to seek permission and could this be considered an invasion of privacy for some? Some people need more privacy than others and having a written agreement can help communication and expectation.
It can be a wonderful experience co-living with others. Co-living can be multi-generational or the same age, but whatever one decides to do I hope you’ll enjoy the company and appreciate your differences!
If you’re interested in other cities, let me know, I can set-up your customized search to assist your needs.
Lynne Watanabe MacFarlane, MCDM, SRES | Realtor
PFAC Silicon Valley affiliate
Intero | A Berkshire Hathaway Affiliate
Here’s my latest vlog post – I hope you and your family are doing well, staying healthy.
One of the first trends that became evident when quarantines began was the large number of young professionals who had gone home to wait out the virus with their parents. Having left the cities where they work and return to their hometowns, many of these young people may not go back. If the work-from-home situation continues – or if their jobs are eliminated – they might find themselves moving back home for good. This may be one of the factors to my discussion here on this post.
As the quarantine lifts, what are the potential market shifts and migration patterns in the SF Bay Area will we see?
Let me know if you or someone you know is interested in making a change (moving to a bigger home with more office space, multi-generational living, layout changes, bigger garden or fresher outside living at the oceanside.) I’m always here to help you make informed, knowledge-based decisions in the shifting markets!
There is a record nine year high in the number of homes on the market in S.F. as it continues to represent 60% more inventory than at the same time last year and 110% more inventory than in 2015 (according to http://socketsite.com/archives/2020/06/most-homes-on-the-market-in-san-francisco-in-nine-years.html)
What are Opportunity Zones?
An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state and that nomination has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury via his delegation of authority to the Internal Revenue Service. Frequently ask questions & more about opportunity zones here.
How Can I benefit learning about them?
Opportunity Zones may benefit rising neighborhoods first – these areas have potential to stabilize and revitalize “distressed neighborhoods” and surrounding communities by inviting private investment capital through a series of tax benefits.
Opportunity Zones – Are there any in Silicon Valley?
Here’s a map of the designated qualified opportunity zones. These zones demonstrate the anticipated ability to revitalize neighborhoods and get even more people working.
Opportunity Zones – Santa Clara County (San Jose)
Opportunity zones are also located “over the hill” in Santa Cruz. As previously mentioned in my previous blog post, there are many new developments in Santa Clara county and Santa Cruz county.
Opportunity Zones – Santa Cruz County
Opportunity Zone investments can attract new businesses, thereby potentially generating millions, if not billions, in economic development and create jobs in these communities. (Forbes, 2018)
Call me today to discuss new investment opportunities that are noted to be in the areas “path of progress”.
Lynne Watanabe MacFarlane, MCDM
Intero Real Estate Services | Berkshire Hathaway affiliate
Good news & less restrictions for Santa Cruz homeowners who want to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit (other wise known as ADUs, Granny Flats, Inlaw Units).
Here are the approved amendments adopted for ADU’s at the Santa Cruz City Council’s meeting on Feb 26th meeting:
- Eliminate parking requirements for ADUs;
- Eliminate the requirement for a Minimum Parcel Size (ADUs can now be added to any size lot);
- Allowing ADUs by right in all Residential Zones, when built with a single family home;
- Eliminate requirements for Use Permits/Design Permits for ADUs on substandard lots;
- Allow ADUs above garages to provide setbacks of 5 feet to side and rear lot lines (previously required minimum of 10 feet from the rear);
- Allow full reconstruction of existing structures(previously limited to 50% of the structure) to qualify for the fee exemptions allowed under state law for Conversion ADUs;
- Allow expansions of Conversion ADUs of up to 120 square feet of floor area and 2 feet of height to qualify for the fee exemptions allowed under state law;
- Allow interior connections between an attached ADUs and the Primary Home on the parcel; and
- Change the definition of Owner-Occupant to include immediate family members (limited to Spouses, Siblings, Parents, and Adult Children), so a property owner can have a family member living on the property manage the property and any tenants.
For more information on ADUs, read here.