Could you use some personal attention?
A sounding board?
- You are attracted to the idea of having a home-mate and yet you aren’t at all sure it’s right for you.
- You are anxious about going public with a search process.
- You are wondering how to configure your home for sharing.
- You’ve talked to a potential home-mate, you’re not sure, maybe it’s okay, maybe not. How are you going to decide?
- You’ve never done this before and don’t know where to begin
The process of finding a good home-mate has many phases. It doesn’t happen overnight and though sometimes the right person seems to show up magically, in my experience that magic is actually the result of both internal and external preparation.
There’s a lot to do. (I’m assuming you already know why it’s a good idea for you. Read about the benefits here.)
First you must clarify your must-haves and can’t-live-withs in your home so that you don’t waste time interviewing people who won’t work. You also need to determine the physical space you will be offering if you a looking for someone to move into your home. If you are seeking a place to live clarifying what will work for you is pretty important. You also need to figure out what you will charge or what you can pay. Once all that is in place, you set out to write an ad. You want to write one that is accurate and describes you and attracts the right candidates. Where do you put it? Many people do use craigslist, which right now is really one of the best options. I can help you use it effectively and not be scammed. There are other places to get the word out. These will be specific to your location. Often one needs patience at this stage.
Then once there are actually potential home-mates for you to consider, you need to be able to evaluate that person in a way that is kind, gracious, and effective. You need to be able to say “no” as well as “yes.” Most importantly you need to explore the right questions about how you’d live together and be comfortable that you have good agreements. You need to check references.
Listening. Probing. Clarifying. Redirecting. Suggesting.
This is your process and only you know what is best for you. As an extravert myself I know that talking to someone else helps me get clear on what I’m thinking and feeling. If you are in a muddle, getting my view of the situation might help you out of it. Together, we can untangle your muddle and figure out how you can move forward.
How She Went from “No” to “Happily Ever After”
No,” Mary said, “I’m not having a housemate.” That was her initial reaction. A year later she was thinking differently. She read my book, started thinking about it and realized that if she had a housemate she would be able to fulfill her dream of traveling. She needed someone at home to feed her cat while she’s away. Mary and I got together and we talked through her must-haves and can’t-live-withs. I showed her how to craft a great ad for craigslist and talked her through how to decide who to accept. Not long after that, my phone rang. It was Mary, breathless with excitement. She had met the perfect housemate and he would be moving in. They’ve been living together happily now for a year and it, yep, it changed her life.
Sometimes I can help by taking on parts of the process: crafting an ad, posting it on craigslist, and screening candidates, only forwarding those who seem good to me.
Getting the Right Sort of Help
I’m old…I’m realistic. Things happen.” When I met this lovely ninety-year old woman, she had had an empty apartment for a year. As I interviewed her I discovered that she had advertised by posting on bulletin boards around her town but didn’t know how to use craigslist properly. I asked what she wanted in a tenant, and she said he wanted someone who would be able to help her if she suddenly couldn’t be independent. Though she said she wanted the housemate to be a woman, it is illegal to say so in an ad, so when I wrote her ad I left that out. I made sure that the ad made it clear that she expected help in exchange for the low rent. There were quite a few responses and a few looked like good matches. Then we saw one from a man that seemed just right. I encouraged her to contact this man. She called me up two days later to say that she had offered the apartment to him and she’s been very happy with him as a tenant.
You may want a one-time hour long consult. This would let us explore your immediate situation. You might want a more on-going engagement as you develop your housing options.
As I approached my 88th birthday I became concerned with my present and future needs for safety and possible healthcare. I approached Ms. Annamarie Pluhar who took time to listen to my concerns. After that she posted an ad on craigslist which provided me with a number of applicants because we decided to reduce the rent for an apartment in my home to half. We discussed these applicants and decided against them. She proceeded to make the ad more specific and just the right person applied for the apartment. Mine is a very common problem for seniors: finding appropriate help for those living alone. Annamarie’s approach is right for it: listen to existing needs and appropriate actions to fill the needs. – Trudy Crites
Thanks to Annamarie, I found the perfect housemate. I read the book she wrote and then used her as a resource. The ad I posted in Craig’s list [sic] garnered a number of compliments and the people that answered were all ‘close’ to what I was looking for. One person I interviewed (using Annamarie’s suggestions again) stood out as a really good match. Since he moved in, it’s been a pleasure to share my house. – Nancy Shepard
Annamarie’s questions and suggestions let me know she was really listening. She also encouraged me to take some risks that I would have thought would limit responses to my ad. As it turns out, I’ve ended up with the perfect housemate in every way. I’m deeply grateful and would recommend Annamarie’s services to anyone! ” – Madeleine
How Consulting Works
We can talk by telephone or using a videoconferencing system. I like the videoconferencing because we get to see each other. It’s more personal than a telephone. But either device works for me. The key is being able to talk. When you sign up, you will receive an email confirmation and a request to give me three times that work for you. I’m available most times, though I live on the East Coast so after 9pm is not usually when I’m at my best. I do rise early. Weekdays, evenings, weekends. I’ll try to make it work for you.
The initial session is an hour. In that session, you will tell me what’s going on and I’ll be able to give you some initial suggestions. After that, I’m offering half-hour sessions because in my experience that’s enough time to help you move to the next step. I want you to use your time and money wisely.
If you are ready for personal, one-on-one attention, click here to sign up. Perhaps it would be helpful to talk to me for five minutes to get a sense for how we might work together? If so, please send me your information so that I can call you.
P.S. When you hire me to work with you, you gain the advantage of my 20 plus years of experience in selecting good housemates (and the lessons I learned from some mistakes). You will have the comfort of working with a seasoned and knowledgeable expert. Hire me to hold your hand.