Last August, my husband and I sold our house. With everyone (and I do mean everyone) telling us, “It’s a great time to buy!”, we figured we’d be in a new place in no time. It took us nine months. During this whole house hunt, we moved 90% of our belongings into a storage unit and moved our little family of four into my parents’ house. We had the downstairs living space to ourselves and paid a small monthly rent.
I can’t even tell you the number of times I had some version of this conversation with people:
“So, have you guys found a new home yet?”
“Not yet. We’re living with my parents right now.”
“Oh…” [insert raised eyebrows and skeptical/sympathetic look] “How’s that going?”
Suddenly I felt like an unemployed slob, mooching off my parents and sitting on the couch in the middle of the afternoon eating cold pizza and playing video games. Yes, I was that person. The one who, due to unexpected life circumstances, found herself moving back in with the folks. In America, we have a 5-letter word for that: LOSER.
But you know what? It went great. So great that when my husband and I finally signed the papers on our new house a few weeks ago, it was actually bittersweet. Yes, we are excited about living and building memories in our new place, but there are so many things we are going to miss from this multi-generational living arrangement.
- Living debt-free and saving a significant amount of money each month
- Being able to leave our kids frequently and easily with my parents (often during naps and after they were in bed for the night)
- Taking care of the house and yard when my parents traveled
- Splitting the grocery bill and taking turns preparing meals
- Sharing utilities and services like Netflix or Internet
- Sharing yard maintenance and housekeeping chores
- Helping each other with illnesses, surgeries, appointments, trips, or errands
- Enjoying my parents’ company
- Watching my kids grow so close to their grandparents
Would this work well for everyone? Definitely not. However, it is a trend that is on the rise in the US.
My advice? If you find yourself faced with the necessity of sharing living arrangements, stop to enjoy it. If you have the opportunity of sharing living arrangements, stop to consider it. It’s not nearly as bad and can be a whole lot better than most people imagine.
Leave a comment! Opinions? Experiences? Leftover pizza?
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