Expensive Cities Can Be More Affordable in Groups

Image by Anne Fitten Glenn via Flickr

Image by Anne Fitten Glenn via Flickr

Recently, my city of Asheville was listed in a Yahoo Finance article about the 10 cities where ordinary people can no longer afford homes. There are major changes in the real estate market, especially considering that just a few short years ago individual home owners weren’t able to sell their homes without taking a loss or needing to consider a short sale. It just goes to show how quickly things change.

While the article talks about the increasing mortgage rates across the United States it doesn’t seem to indicate the other factors that make these particular cities less affordable. Could it be pay inequality or the higher cost of living? In any case, it may be time to reconsider the way American’s buy homes in the first place.

I have a radical idea for individuals who want to buy homes in these areas: Community Living.

Image by Images Money via Flickr.

Image by Images Money via Flickr.

Some of these more expensive cities, such as Asheville and Charleston in the southeast and Portland and Seattle in the northwest, may be excellent choices for groups of people interested in buying a home to share. While median prices of homes in Asheville increased 11% between 2012 and 2013, the numbers become more affordable when three or more adults enter into a mortgage with an agreement together.

It is important to remember when conducting these types of deals to understand some the legal issues involved. When unrelated or unmarried people buy a home together, having the necessary contracts in place between parties is essential. Talk with a lawyer in your area to learn what you need and how to protect each member of the purchasing group. You may also want to establish rules of the household and escape clauses if unexpected situations arise in the future. The Blueprint of We, which Women for Living in Community has showcased before, is an excellent starting point for developing community values for your shared home.

Changing the way we view aging in this country along with the increase in home values will help lead the way to a new paradigm for the way we live our lives after retirement.

Is there a place you’ve always wanted to live but felt it was out of your budget? Could this concept alter your way of thinking about it?

My new book, Your Quest for Home, can give you the tools you need and get you started on your journey to shared living. Go to the Women for Living in Community Home Page for more information or join the conversation on Facebook


  1. Carol Gotay says

    I am a healthy senior living in lovely Westchester County, 25 minute train ride to Grand Central Station, Manhattan. How would I go about identifying a possible prospect for house sharing. I have a small three bedroom, two bath home and it is in a lovely safe setting. I am a retired Registered Nurse, so that might be of importance to someone needing community medical support. Thank for your assistance. C G

Women For Living in Community