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Old 04-25-2014, 09:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arwenmark View Post
I think it would take revamping the local housing laws. Most see boarding house as a flop house and legislate against it. The town I am retiring to goes so far as to say that you cannot have more than one unrelatedby blood person living in your house.

That is living there not boarding or renting, just living so if I had two of my sons and their families living with me, I would be violating the law with two daughters in law in residence, [non blood relative]

It's all in the details and the fine print!
Read the review of the book, I cited as it answers these questions. It is a very interesting history of why these types of housing were banned.

Livecontent
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ansible90 View Post
LiveContent

I love the idea but in today's world I think a boarding house would need to have a separate bath attached to each bedroom. Or maybe a shared bath between 2 bedrooms might work.

As Lenora mentioned, some of us might prefer to live with friends or family, but some don't have anyone. Then there's the other situation where family doesn't feel comfortable having a parent living with them -- nearby is ok but not with. I think there would be many people who would consider a boarding house.

The only problem I see with seniors renting in a boarding house is what happens if they get sick or later need daily assistance or constant care. What does the landlord do then? with a sick person?
The issue of dealing with a sick person is a problem with all types of housing arrangements, especially a serious issue with a single person with not support of relatives. Today, Landlords would call the police who would call a social service agency which would move the person to a more appropriate type of housing. The advantage of a Boarding house is that the person who gets sick is noticed as sick and will not die alone and unattended in their apartment.

I lived for a time in a three story walkup in NYC--there is another term lost in history. However, the density of this type of housing put the people more in contact with each other and people were more looked after by their neighbors and noticed if there was a problem.

Livecontent
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
I lived in a boarding house for a time in Brookline, MA, in 1974. It was exactly as live content describes, and quite a cast of characters. At the time, in the very nice urbane town of Brookline, there were a lot of old Victorians that were boarding houses. But then real estate zoomed again and again, and they are all built over/converted/rehabbed. The house I lived in was a few houses down from JFK's birthplace. The olden days! When people were supposedly fleeing the city.

One resident was a teenager who'd run away from home in Maine and ate ice cream for all meals. There was a couple just returned from the Peace Corps. There was an Italian guy who gave haircuts like a salon in his room. Probably would have made a good reality TV show or something.

A long time ago.
A wonderful experience that you are sharing. I have been in this area.

I think the boarding house can be reasonably and economically converted or built because parking would not and should not be included. Parking is a huge expense and waste of land resources. We need to do away with the idea of parking is needed or be required in all types of housing as going along with the idea that cars are always needed--they are not.

Since the residents would want and need economical housing then they really could not and should not pay for buying and the upkeep of an auto. These boarding houses are best placed in dense urban areas where an auto would not be essential and actual be a detriment to the environment.

Boarding houses near good public transit and in a walkable neighborhood of essential shopping near parks and healthcare can well serve our society. I think it would be idea as a retirement type housing.

One sees many senior residences near hospitals and with all the associated doctor's offices and clinics. All of these are large senior housing complexes and some are subsidized. If we can include boarding houses in the mix then we can serve more residences in a smaller land footprint and have them near these essential services.

Livecontent
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by vanguardisle View Post
Isn't that what Forest Gump's mother did to make money in the movie Forest Gump? I think it would be nice to try it but the shared bathroom could become a hassle.
Yes a shared bathroom is considered by many as a hassle and in family homes of today we have multiple bathrooms, each for one family member. Yet for many of us, we grew up with one bathroom shared by even larger families of the past.

So, our own bathroom has become an entitlement in our minds but is a shared bathroom all that difficult to accept if one needs economical housing. I can well remember the shared bathrooms of dormitories and Army barracks as well as my large family in the little house of my youth with one bathroom. I accepted that arrangement and it was not all that bad but perhaps I was young and now that we are older we expect and demand more.

Keep in mind I am talking about many people who have less and consequently can live with less; require less and need less to be content. A boarding house would not fulfill the needs of those who live with abundance; require more and need much more to be happy.

A boarding house is not a place for those who need conspicuous consumption to show off and cater to their egos, as many need the Mc Mansions of today.

Livecontent
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,216 posts, read 12,651,511 times
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Back in the early '80s I had a newspaper internship in Peabody Mass. and lived in a boarding house next door in Salem. OP, it was just as you described -- a big house converted into many private bedrooms but with shared bathrooms and common areas (living room, 2 kitchens IIRC). This one was all women. I knew I would live there for only 3 months (I was off to Berkeley in the fall!) but many other residents had lived there for years.

Many places these days would not allow them. I know some college towns that have neighborhoods with zoning restrictions on the number of unrelated people who can live in a single house -- the purpose is clearly to keep a single-family house from turning into a boarding house for college students (that would be a nightmare to the neighbors!).

I lived in Berkeley CA from '82 to '93, and I know there were rooming houses across the Bay in San Francisco. They tended to be located in the poorer areas (e.g. Mission District).

I understand their value, but honestly, I would not want one in my neighborhood. (Yep, the NIMBY syndrome. Sorry.)
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:42 AM
 
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Really apartments and motels pretty much serve same purpose but with much more privacy and security. My father said that what you saw in movies was not what he witnessed when using them on long company project stays in the 30's thru 40's. Its like a lot of thigns that the realty is what people see in movies or imagine when living with a lot of strangers.Watch doumtnaries what many who lived in communes said about problems in the 60's that drove them away.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:03 AM
 
Location: land of ahhhs
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Question Give me a reality check please

I actually own such a business, not a boarding house, but a rooming house (never could find someone to cook for the roomers). There is a common living area, a full kitchen, and every room has a small refrigerator, private bath, and flat screen. I don't live in an urban area, and the person running it has left for a new job. After all current tenants left, I closed it. I'd love to re-open, as I'm carrying the note, but I'm not sure it's a viable option. It certainly isn't particularly low cost for my area. Cheaper than a motel, for sure, but not as cheap as a stand alone house with roommates. In addition to a kitchen, dining area, living room with big screen, we included all utilities, laundry facilities, Direct TV, internet, a patio with grill, and weekly cleaning.

I've thought of different things to do with the property such as an Alzheimer's group home, a more traditional B&B, or converting to offices or fewer apartments. But I really like the rooming/boarding house model as described by some of you.

Out of curiosity, what would you say would be a fair price for such a set up, recognizing regional differences? As a reference point, in my area, a single/double in the cheapest motel is about $50/75. A small house with 2-3 bedrooms, one bath would be $650-1000 (depending on which end of the average range it's amenities fall into), plus utilities. I'd be grateful for your feedback--what would you do if such a building were suddenly to fall in your lap?
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastequila View Post
I actually own such a business, not a boarding house, but a rooming house (never could find someone to cook for the roomers). There is a common living area, a full kitchen, and every room has a small refrigerator, private bath, and flat screen. I don't live in an urban area, and the person running it has left for a new job. After all current tenants left, I closed it. I'd love to re-open, as I'm carrying the note, but I'm not sure it's a viable option. It certainly isn't particularly low cost for my area. Cheaper than a motel, for sure, but not as cheap as a stand alone house with roommates. In addition to a kitchen, dining area, living room with big screen, we included all utilities, laundry facilities, Direct TV, internet, a patio with grill, and weekly cleaning.

I've thought of different things to do with the property such as an Alzheimer's group home, a more traditional B&B, or converting to offices or fewer apartments. But I really like the rooming/boarding house model as described by some of you.

Out of curiosity, what would you say would be a fair price for such a set up, recognizing regional differences? As a reference point, in my area, a single/double in the cheapest motel is about $50/75. A small house with 2-3 bedrooms, one bath would be $650-1000 (depending on which end of the average range it's amenities fall into), plus utilities. I'd be grateful for your feedback--what would you do if such a building were suddenly to fall in your lap?
What's the rental market like in your area? Is there a NEED for a rooming house?

In some ways the kind of rooming house you're describing would be more appealing than living in a SFH with roommates -- e.g., your version, with a private bath, refrigerator, etc. would allow the renter more privacy. But you know your area better than we do.

If your zoning laws allowed such a rooming house, I'm assuming they'd allow an Alzheimer's group home or similar, but you'd have to check of course. Have you done that?

How close to the house do you live? You mentioned you had someone else manage it, which made me wonder if it is far away from you. (I own one rental house but it's only 10 minutes away from me -- I would not want to be a long-distance landlord!)

What kind of neighborhood is it? Are there other single-family houses? Could you convert it back to a single-family house and sell it that way, or do you WANT to make it a rental?
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:23 AM
 
14,253 posts, read 23,969,886 times
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I lived in boarding houses from 1982-84 and in 1994. it is NOT a lifestyle that I would not want to return to.

The first problem is that you have ZERO control over who the landlord rents to. One of the places that I lived for a year was alright ... until one of the guys moved out. The landlord rented the place out to one of the local hookers and you can imagine the quality of life.

The second problem was the "shared" kitchen. If you wanted to use it, you had to clean up the mess that one of the slobs would leave EVERY NIGHT. No thanks.

Third, security is minimal as you do not know who has a key to your place.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:31 AM
Status: "Support the Mining Law of 1872" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Cody, WY
9,570 posts, read 10,909,082 times
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I'd rather be dead than share my living space. I want my own home with my own kitchen and bathroom where I can live a private life with my pets and possessions.

The places described in this thread don't seem much different from typical living space in the Soviet Union. They had communal kitchens and bathrooms as well as roomers indiscriminately assigned to any apartment considered too large for the number of residents.
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