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Housemates and roommates are typically unmarried young adults, including workers and students.It is not rare for middle-aged and elderly adults who are single, divorced, or widowed to have housemates.Other motivations are to gain better amenities than those available in single-person housing, to share the work of maintaining a household, and to have the companionship of other people.People become roommates when they move into a rental property, with one or more of them having applied to rent the property through a real estate agent, being accepted and having signed a lease.In many rental markets, the monthly rent for a two- or three-bedroom apartment is proportionately less per bedroom than the rent for a one-bedroom apartment (in other words, a three-bedroom flat costs more than a one-bedroom, but not three times as much).By pooling their monthly housing money, a group of people can achieve a lower housing expense at the cost of less privacy.A sharehome is a model of household in which a group of usually unrelated people reside together.The term generally applies to people living together in rental properties rather than in properties in which any resident is an owner occupier.
From 2000 to 2014, the proportion of Americans living with roommates increased by 13%, revealing that it is an increasingly popular lifestyle choice.
Sharehome residents are typically unrelated to each other in that they generally come from different families, although they may be composed of some siblings and sometimes single parents and their children.
Perhaps because of the social cohesion required for their formation, sharehomes will often be composed of members of the same peer group.
Roommates are a fairly common point of reference in Western culture.
In the United States, most young adults spend at least a short part of their lives living with roommates after they leave their family's home.
In the UK, the term "roommate" means a person living in the same bedroom, whereas in the United States and Canada, "roommate" and "housemate" are used interchangeably regardless whether a bedroom is shared, although it is common in US universities that having a roommate implies sharing a room together.