Take a look around at existing homes in which people are currently living…59% of those homes have one or more spare bedrooms.

Of those 59% of homes having one or more spare bedrooms, 24% of them are owned by people 65 years and older; 35% of those homes are owned by people under 65.

It’s estimated that the number of people 65 years and up will rise by 38% over the next 10 years.  A staggering statistic but not a surprising one when you remember that 10,000 people per day are turning 65 each and every day of the year.

Such demographics point to huge numbers of people who are currently or will soon be in need of extra income as they age, particularly in low-income environments. Social Security, for now anyway, just doesn’t cut it when regular monthly paychecks stop coming when +65 year old workers retire.

Now, couple this high demand for more income from retired workers with an increasingly high demand for lower rents. Perhaps joining these two demands together to solve different problems could make life less expensive for two “demanding” population groups.

According to Airbnb, its fastest growing host demographic is retirees. If Airbnb is acknowledging and saying this, certainly new tech companies will listen and work to match homeowners who have empty beds with long-term renters who want and need more cost efficient housing?

Already Fannie Mae is listening. It recently announced new regulations that allow homebuyers to use tenant income in order to qualify for a mortgage. Such a move by Fannie Mae opens the door for renters to become homeowners themselves if they can rent out a room or two in their home.

Groups such as WeLive and Common currently bring together like-minded strangers under one roof as does Norne, a newer than new start-up that offers long term stays to like-minded strangers in homes architecturally consistent with its “host” cities of San Francisco, New York and Barcelona.

Homes are homes however we define them just as families are families, “related” or not. Real estate professionals willing to think outside the box are and will continue to solve real estate problems.

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