Our Story: Part 3

This post is part of Multi Family Living Mondays, a series of articles on co-housing and multi-family living.Link
(You can read Part One here, and Part Two here.)

Part 3:

About 2 months into our 6-month lease, and about a month after our first baby was born, Sara called me about a house. One of her professors was opening his house up for renters and was hoping to find a young family to move into it.

It was only a few blocks from the seminary where she was going to school, in a great neighborhood close to bus lines and stores. We went to check it out, and it had everything we were looking for – bedrooms on separate floors, two bathrooms, a large combined living/dining room, and a huge kitchen. Plus, the rent was well within our budgeted range!

While talking with the owner, it was clear that he cared a lot about the house (his family had lived there for over 20 years), and really wanted to bless people with it. He agreed to lower the rent another $100/month in exchange for yard work and general upkeep, he waived a security/cleaning deposit in exchange for us cleaning the carpets, and he let Tim and Sara move in two months earlier than we did while paying only ½ the rent, which allowed us to fulfill our lease without any penalties. It was an incredible display of generosity on his part, and it helped us to feel very confident in moving forward with our plans to live together.

One major bonus of this arrangement was the staggered move-in dates. We avoided some of the chaos of two families moving at once, and Tim and Sara were able to get settled in the house before having to adjust to co-housing. For us, it was great to have a little longer to get used to being parents and to let our little family gel a bit more. It also allowed me to keep working at my job a few months longer, which was within walking distance from our old apartment. Finally, our lease was up in December, and since we already had the housing situation figured out far in advance, we didn’t have to scramble during the busy holiday season to find a new place to live.

So that is how we got here, but the real adventures in shared housing hadn’t even begun! Soon, I’ll share more about some of the things we learned early on in our multi-family living experiment.


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