Two friends have come up with innovative solutions to their housing needs.
One lives in her own home, except it’s no longer hers! Through a creative solution, she has freed herself from a hefty mortgage, allowing her to purchase a motorhome and hit the road for the next year or two.
The other is sharing her resources with her extended family. This means there are now three generations living under the same roof, sharing household duties and living costs.
I know many women who worry about how they will afford to maintain their lifestyle when they retire – with the biggest issue being the cost of housing.
In the first of several posts, I’ll share some more examples of creative housing arrangements that will inspire you, or they may provide a smart solution for someone you know who needs to think outside the box.
Let’s start with breakups
Breakups – they’re sad, stressful and heart-breaking so it’s not surprising that creative thinking about the economics of the situation doesn’t generally come to mind.
But here’s the thing – to split a partly owned, possibly mortgaged asset into two is just not economically viable.
Many years ago, I heard of a couple who were splitting up and planning to sell their home. Then they received some interesting advice which was to keep the house for the time being and to co-habit as if they were flat-mates – not partners.
Fortunately, they were able to find a way to do this. They agreed a set of rules around the flat and finances which enabled them to separate but stay in their jointly-owned home on a completely different basis.
There was an unplanned outcome. The arrangement worked so well that they fell in love all over again!
The public split
A more recent and less private breakup has happened to a New Zealand public speaker, motivator and business coach.
Her story went public – based in Auckland they just could not afford to each maintain a home for themselves and the children if they sold the joint family home.
So, they also chose the flat-mate option, and are now living as friends in the same house. The children’s lives haven’t been disrupted and their major asset, and therefore their finances, are intact.
Who knows what the outcome will be – they sure don’t. But in the meantime, they’ve made the best of a troubled situation. In time, the shared ownership of the home could provide leverage for a second dwelling if needed… Let’s hope it isn’t!
This approach might not work for everyone, but it absolutely warrants serious consideration when the alternative is liquidating a jointly-owned asset which may not be able to be replaced.
A belated mid-life crisis
Sadly, another couple I know about was not able to adopt this approach. The early 60s husband, in the throes of a belated mid-life crisis, has decided he’s no longer in love with his mid-50s wife.
They own a heavily mortgaged large family home with several acres, that even has a separate granny flat.
Regardless, he’s moved out and is sofa surfing at a friend’s home. She’s in the house, looking after the property and all their animals.
Neither will be able to buy a property once their home is sold and they both plan to rent. On top of that, they’re not sure what will happen with all the animals.
She is shocked, grief-stricken, distraught and depressed! He’s utterly determined the house must be sold. It’s not only incredibly sad – it’s economic suicide!
Cheer Up! There are More Interesting Options Coming!
If you’d like to hear about more innovative and achievable housing approaches, then I suggest you subscribe to my blog now.