The Polyamorous Misanthrope
Just for Fun
What is Polyamory?
Featuring Spice! -- The PolyFamily Web Comic
Polyamory for the Practical
How to Find Housing for the Poly Family
This can often be a problem, finding housing in a society set up with
couple paradigm. Zoning laws are often for single family homes,
be reluctant to rent to multiple adult households, neighbors
can be a pain.
We actually learned a lot about finding non-standard housing.
It is easier to rent from an individual landlord than from an agency.
You would think an impersonal agency cares less about the personal lives
of their tenants. True enough, but their rules are more numerous
and inflexible. We ran across one agency that would not rent to
anyone for whom rent comprised more than 25% of the tenants' combined
incomes. An individual landlord will often rent to people that he has
a good feeling about in some way. Of course, this can bite you
as well. The individual landlord may refuse to rent to someone
who seems "too weird". We went out of our way to *look* as wholesome
and normal as possible while house hunting. We wasted a good bit of
money applying to various homes rented through property management agencies
before we found an individual who wished to rent to us.
A poly family that is running a business together has an edge.
People, being people, are often curious about WHY in the WORLD two
would want to live together. The large single-family home for no
Mommy, Daddy and two children is a big status thing -- at least
area. When we say we have a business (as indeed we do) and want to
money by not renting office space (which is also true) it will impress
landlords, who are themselves minor entrepreneurs.
Be frank about how many people there are.
Let them know BEFORE you go to look at the house. Make sure they know
any pets and make sure that they know how many children. We got
this one once and scared a prospective landlord. I feel certain
become the talk of the real estate industry around here -- jumping as
did from agent to agent trying to find something.
Make sure you know your credit history and owe nothing to your present landlord.
Get copies of everyone's credit reports. Check with your landlord
sure all your ducks are in a row. Make sure that everything on the
report is accurate. My legal husband and I had an amusing moment
got a look at our credit report and found his parent's mortgage on
was named after his father). Get outdated information removed.
If you can, buy. If not, don't let any agents try to pressure you.
Buying or building a house would have been a lot easier in the long run.
many ways, property ownership confers a great deal of freedom.
We're not in a position to buy a house at the moment (starting a business
not cheap). However, if you're going through real estate agents to
housing, you must accept the fact that you're going to get a lot of
to try to buy a house. Real estate agents don't make much money on
sort of thing, so make sure the whole family is on the same page
Money makes everything easier.
My family does not have heaping wads of available cash. We live
paycheck to paycheck. I expect it will be a surprise to no-one that
first financial goal is to amass a few thou even before we invest in
business equipment. Liquid cash is good. You can make
without it, but it is very hard and nerve-wracking.
Here is what some other people had to say:
We had a poly commune, started in the 60's. In 1969, we bought a
house, & reworked the rooms: we had one huge *bed* room (12x25 bed)
most of us slept in. There were private rooms for sex, but it was ok
have sex in the *bed*room as well, as long as it wasn't too noisy.
had one room that was converted to a huge "closet", with racks in
middle, & shelves all the way 'round the walls. Another room
converted to the library-- stacks style. We all ate together in a
dining room, with a special sectional table 4'x12'. Cars were
well as tools, records, finances, etc.
In 1975, with the proceeds from the first house and a *lot* of
financing, we wound up buying two apartment buildings and a
houses, all within a 1 block radius. We lived in some units,
others, used others for our businesses, others still for our
projects, including homeless shelter, foster care, experiments
international group living, etc. This went on for about 15 years;
flexibility was absolutely wonderful. The crux is that we bought
space than we needed; as our needs changed, we could trade off income
space, and vice-versa.
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