Do We Need a Housemate?

The heat tried to swallow by mid-afternoon yesterday. I spent a lot of time outside in the morning before it was too intense. We mostly stayed in the house in the afternoon, although without air conditioning, it gets muggy and steamy in there as well. Today is going to be hotter and since it didn’t get particularly cool overnight, the house is already starting from an inflated temperature. It’s okay though; we will make it work.

I’m between home repair projects right now. We are still needing to cease any expenditure that isn’t absolutely mandatory, so any supply purchasing has been halted.  That doesn’t mean I can’t clean and organize, but the allure of those “chores” is far less than planning and carrying out some sort of repair or home improvement project. I’ve found myself pacing around the house several days over the past couple of weeks wishing I had a paint roller or a Home Depot gift card so I could tackle a new project. Then again, I don’t have my heart set on anything in particular, although that’s not because of a lack of options. Instead, it’s more because the list of needs is so long and since I know I can’t afford to do any of them right now, my brain sort of shuts down the dreaming and scheming to protect myself from the disappointing reality that any project, even minor ones, will require money we don’t have. I’d like to do some paint projects, but I need to save up for rollers, brushes, and spackle.

We’ve considered renting out some rooms in our house to offset some of our living expenses. However, we’ve done the adult roommate thing a few times with varying degrees of poor results, except for our positive situation with our roommate in NYC, a graduate student turned middle school teacher over our years of cohabitation. She was a respectful, quiet, kind housemate who grew to be a good friend.

Luck has not really been on our side since and we both love being homeowners because of the freedom, control, and privacy it provides. Opening the home to another person shatters those coveted benefits, which are especially crucial to my health and happiness given my sensory challenges and post-attack anxiety and desire for ensuring I have the safest, most comfortable home so that I can be in psychological peace. With that said, our house is big and we have room. Although we both are very disinterested in taking on a boarder, the benefits to our finances can’t be overlooked, especially with how poor our bank account situation has been.

Our classified listing has evoked a few inquires, but only one potential renter has passed our initial phone screening. He may be coming today to check out the space and meet us. Ben and I are on the same page that we need to be really picky about who we accept (if anyone) because we have specific needs. The housing relationship won’t work of our non-negotiables are compromised. Rather than putting us through the stress of opening our home to a housemate who’s clearly not going to work for our situation, if there’s much doubt, we will hold off and err on the side of turning down people who could possibly work. The last thing we need is a big disruption to the feeling of “home” and security we’ve worked tirelessly to build in the past couple years.

We will remain firm on what we are looking for and expecting in a potential boarder. Perhaps someone also looking for a really quiet, respectful, sensory-friendly living arrangement will seem like a good fit. Finding such a roommate will likely be like locating a four-leaf clover in a large pasture, but you never know. We might as well try.

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