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8 Considerations for Extended Guest Stays and Home Shares

Renters Warehouse Blog

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This is a guest post from Houzz - a platform for home remodeling and design, bringing homeowners and home professionals together in a uniquely visual community.

The morning our house burned down, we -- my husband, Paul, myself and our three children -- were all home and in bed. We escaped with the family dog and the clothes on our backs. The county sheriff arrived almost immediately and asked if there was anyone he could call. Paul gave him his sister's number. Dawn and her husband, Thom, picked us up from the side of the road while the house was still in flames. That first day was a blur of interviews, phone calls and visits from family and friends. But the next morning, I woke early, my mind racing. I crept into the living room to write, which is the best way I think.

Dawn and Thom are early risers too. We all got coffee and went outside to sit on the front porch to watch the dogs. Our black Lab Jack was living the dream with his three canine "cousins." The four dogs romped and played. We three humans talked quietly. I may have brought up my thoughts about our next step.

"Ali," Thom said, "don't rush into anything. Dawn and I want you to know you can stay here as long as you need. This is your home now."

To this day, almost four years later, I can't tell this story without crying. Writing this now, tears are streaming down my face.

There are many reasons friends and family may find the need to temporarily live together: a long-distance move, job loss, a health problem, a house build or, like with us, a natural disaster. If you are contemplating a home share, either as host or guest, here are a few questions to ask yourself before making the move.

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