DUMONT, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Sharing a home with someone you barely know isn’t the ideal choice for everyone.
However, in some cases, people say it’s the best option — one that you might want to consider.
CBS2’s Erin Logan spoke with a pair of unlikely roommates in Bergen County who work different hours. She watched one come home as the other left.
“I get home around 9, and she’s already in her pajamas,” Alyssa Camacho said.
They aren’t exactly close in age either. Camacho is 26 and Joan Grzenda is 66.
Grzenda was an empty nester who didn’t want to leave the place she’s called home for more than 20 years. Camacho had nowhere to live. So, they’re “home sharing.”
It’s different from a mother-daughter apartment. In home sharing, the non-family members share the same entrance, same bathroom and kitchen, whatever is agreed upon.
“It’s a big deal in a county like Bergen County, which is so expensive, both for the person looking and for the homeowner whose taxes go up every year and they’re high to begin with,” Grzenda said.
The home sharing concept is nothing new for Gzenda. Just two years ago, she retired as the executive director of the Women’s Rights Information Center in Englewood where they help pair roommates.
“When I saw Alyssa and talked to her for five minutes, and boom,” she said.
“It just happened, literately one, two, three,” Camacho agreed.
“Just use your common sense. You can meet each other somewhere at the center, you can talk,” Grzenda advised. “There’s a sheet that can be filled out that asks every question in the world.”
Then, it’s up to you to do your homework.
“You’ve got to really get a handle on that person. You can ask for references,” Grzenda said.
The women say they have no problems in their home, maybe just one to laugh about.
“One of the first times I cooked here, she was like, ‘is that really how you’re supposed tocook?’ I said, ‘this is how I’ve been doing it.’ She would just say, ‘no, this is how you do it,'” Camacho said.
For more information about home sharing in New Jersey, click here.