Making It In San Diego: Strangers team up to afford the rent

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diegans are continuing to discover creative ways to battle the area's seemingly always increasing cost of living. 

In Del Cerro, five women are teaming up to rent a house so they can afford San Diego, and even save up. Their ages range from 24 to 67. 

"We like each other, we get along well, but like some roommate households want to get a close family, they want to have roommate Wednesday dinner, that's not us," said Deanna, who has lived in the home for 17 years.

MAKING IT IN SAN DIEGO:

The women declined to share their last names. 

Homesharing in San Diego is growing in popularity.

Zillow says the share of adults who are not related and not in a romantic relationship sharing a home rose from about 28 percent in 2005 to 38 percent in 2016. In that time, the share of a typical household's income needed to pay the median rent rose from 36 percent to 42 percent.

Jess, one of the residents, is leaving after four years in the house to get married and move in with her husband. She says it's important to have her own space, but she also enjoys having her housemates nearby.

"They're quirky, they're fun, even though I do go to my room and shut the door on purpose," she said, laughing.

Deanna said she arranges to find new housemates through her church. 

She said the group has honed the homesharing format over the years.

First, each pays about $500 a month, and those who do chores get discounts. The women have three refrigerators in the kitchen, and assign bathroom times based on work and school schedules.

The leases are month-to-month, and prospective tenants sit down for interviews.

"I always ask, are you a heavy or light sleeper? Are you sensitive to noise?" said Terrie, who has lived in the home for two years. 

Tenants who don't gel are asked to leave. It's happened a couple of times in the last two years, but Deanna said overall it is rare. 

Alan Nevin, a rental market industry analyst at Xpera, said he sees homesharing growing in popularity as cost-of-living rises. 

He said people need to do research before moving in. 

"It has to be from a sophisticated landlord who runs it like a business," Nevin said. "When you’re dealing with four or five unrelated people, even if they’re college graduates, you don’t know what you’re getting."

Nevin said important details to specify are who gets parking spaces, who does the chores, and who gets first access to appliances like washer and drier. 

There are numerous agencies to find roommates in San Diego, in addition to classified ads and apps for rooms available. Some of the services require a fee. 

Here are some of the services available:

Trulia

Roomster

Roomies

Craigslist

Spareroom

Easy Roommate

Roomie Match

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